The 2022 winter Olympic Games in Beijing will “undoubtedly” help to advance human rights in China, according to a spokesperson for the local organising committee.
In July, Beijing was awarded the Games ahead of Almaty in Kazakhstan. However, campaigners have protested against what they describe as a deterioration in human rights in China since the 2008 summer Olympics took place in Beijing.
“What I want to say is that China's progress on human rights has been recognised by the world,” spokeswoman Wang Hui told reporters, according to the Reuters news agency.
“Holding the winter Olympics in China, first, is to guarantee the people's demand for winter sports. This human right has already been respected.”
Beijing will become the first city to have hosted the winter and summer Games, and the Chinese government has argued that it has been singled out unfairly for criticism of its human rights record.