But the tactic also reveals a media relations campaign that clashes head-on with Western ideals of transparency.
The most public of these was the fallout from Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai’s sexual assault allegations against former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. On Monday, with a government aide at her side, she gave an approved interview to the French newspaper The Team to retract allegations she posted on WeChat in November that threw global sport into turmoil.
“This message has caused a huge misunderstanding from the outside world,” she said.
International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said that was it – and no one should judge Peng or China’s action one way or another – but the Chinese Communist Party has always struggling to maintain control of his narrative and the questions the world wants to ask him.
Incidents now occur almost daily. On Friday, a Dutch journalist was taken live by two public security officers as he tried to cover the opening ceremony.
On Sunday, Dinigeer Yilamujiang, the Uyghur athlete who two days earlier had lit the Olympic flame in the Bird’s Nest Stadium, escaped after his first and only cross-country skiing event in violation of IOC rules that require athletes to walk down a lane to be interviewed. after the competition. A dozen reporters had waited in freezing conditions to speak to the new star.
Journalist Paddy Fok, based outside the Olympic bubble, was arrested by security on a shopping street in Beijing’s Wangfujing on Monday. He showed his press card, but was told that interviewing people about how they enjoyed the Olympics was not allowed.
During the IOC and Beijing Olympic Committee press conferences on Friday, an interpreter reportedly did not relay Peng Shuai’s name due to his sensitivity.
Peng went to her first major Olympic event on Tuesday. The one who must not be named was on national television to encourage her country. The 36-year-old took a seat in the stands to watch Gu during the women’s big air final. Gu, the 18-year-old superstar who opted out of competing for the United States to join China ahead of the Games, has become the public relations face of the Beijing Olympics.
A bilingual vogue A San Francisco-born model, Gu is spread all over China – filling bullet trains, state TV promotion campaigns and hotel lobbies. She won her first of five possible Olympic gold medals on Tuesday after throwing herself down a 60-meter ramp and toppling above the Beijing skyline.
Gu, like Bing Dwen Dwen, is the story that Beijing wants the world to see: a triumphant China, a beautiful China, a powerful China. Dozens of journalists tried to interview her, but the Olympic champion has one major condition: no political questions.