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US requests China not limit freedom of press at 2022 Winter Olympics

Concerns raised after Beijing confirms reporters will be kept inside ‘closed loop'

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. has called on China to commit to not limiting free access and movement for reporters sent to cover the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year.

In a statement released on Thursday (Nov. 4), the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China expressed concern at the lack of transparency surrounding the international sporting event that is due to begin in February, according to a Reuters report.

"We urge PRC officials not to limit freedom of movement and access for journalists and to ensure that they remain safe and able to report freely, including at the Olympic and the Paralympic Games," said U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price at a press briefing.

The international press will remain in a "closed loop" of three venues, one located in downtown Beijing, another near the Great Wall of China, and a third in neighboring Hebei province, per Reuters.

Momentum has been growing for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics in recent months, with human rights groups pressuring various governments not to send representatives to the event, according to BBC. There have also been votes in the U.K. and European parliaments on the matter.

Groups are also calling on the U.S. to enact a similar boycott owing to the Chinese government’s treatment of Uyghurs and other minorities, which Washington considers to be crimes against humanity and genocide.

Price gave no update on the U.S. position on a boycott of the event, per Reuters. Previously, U.S. officials have said they will discuss the issue with the country’s allies before announcing a decision.

Updated : 2022-01-29 16:13 GMT+08:00