During the opening ceremony of the Winter Paralympics in Beijing, China’s state-run broadcaster CCTV censored the remarks of Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), in which he denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and said that he is “horrified at what is taking place in the world right now.”
“Tonight I want—I must—begin with a message of peace,” Parsons said before athletes and spectators at Beijing’s Birds Nest stadium on March 4. “The 21stcentury is a time for dialogue and diplomacy, not war and hate.”
CCTV first declined to translate portions of Parsons’s remarks dealing with Ukraine, and then muted his voice and scrubbed posts mentioning his comments from social media platform Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The act of censorship was in line with other efforts by Beijing to suppress voices in support of Ukraine or critical of Russia’s attack. The Chinese communist regime, which maintains close ties with Moscow, has refused to denounceRussia’s aggression nor call its actions an “invasion.”
On Friday, the Chinese broadcaster of the English Premier League also canceledthe airing of all matches over the weekend due to the league’s planned displays of solidarity for Ukraine during the games.
Parsons’s condemnation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression came just a day after the IPC’s announcement on Thursday that Russian and Belarusian athletes could not take part in the Paralympics, a reversal of a decision the IPC had taken only hours before in favor of their participation.