INTERNATIONAL: After the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, attention is now swiftly turning to the Winter Olympics which are just a few months away. Beijing will be the host at a time when China's relationship with the west is coming under increasing pressure.
It is still unclear whether spectators will be allowed into venues. Athletes, officials and journalists will be asked to work in a 'bubble' environment with limitations on movement, and regular testing for coronavirus. Human rights groups have questioned the International Olympic Committee for allowing China to play host, when it is being accused of alleged abuses against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang Province and crackdowns on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
The Chinese government has denied any wrongdoing. On Thursday, Beijing denounced a new Indo-Pacific security alliance between the United States, Britain and Australia. It says such partnerships should not target third countries and warned of an intensifying arms race in the region. Some countries are reportedly considering boycotting the Winter Olympics. Just last month, Canada's Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole said that Canadian citizens may be unsafe there, but China is getting support from Russia, with President Vladimir Putin saying he will be at the games in a show of solidarity with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
PHOTO: FILE FOOTAGE OF CAPITAL INDOOR STADIUM (WHERE ICE SKATING AND SHORT TRACK SPEED SKATING WILL TAKE PLACE) AND ICE CUBE WHERE CURLING WILL TAKE PLACE AT 2022 WINTER OLYMPICS