Be wary of the Chinese government [letter] | letters to the editor

As Americans watch the Winter Olympics, let’s not forget that despite the pomp, China remains a serious rival nation.

Set against a backdrop of industrial steel cooling towers, Beijing’s Olympic venue is effectively a police state, with protection against COVID-19 a declared priority.

Inside the Olympic Village, the Chinese monitor all our athletes’ conversations, their whereabouts and even the food they eat. Athletes and their coaches are required to bring “burner phones” as the Chinese government has reportedly wiretapped, recorded and stolen personal information from their devices. There are even suspicions that Chinese officials are sifting through dining facility waste to collect DNA samples from these athletes.

The Chinese government has relocated thousands of its citizens and massively reduced the region’s water supply to ensure man-made snow blankets the normally arid mountainous regions.

At the opening ceremony, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin sat together as a clear message of shared unity against the free world.

Recall that the Russians invaded Ukraine in 2014 immediately after the Sochi Winter Olympics. Americans and our allies must remain vigilant in the face of the misinformation and disinformation being propagated by Beijing during this unrestricted period of global media access. And when the closing ceremonies are complete, we must be ready to protect our freedom from the ongoing challenges that these adversaries are sure to exploit.

David Wood

Municipality of Mannheim

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