BEIJING: The 2022 Winter Olympic Games, to a backdrop of unease international tension and human rights issue, have begun in Beijing with a Covid-feared CGI special of an Opening Ceremony.

The action began two days ago but the formalities of competitors’ parade, VIP speeches, flag-bearing and torch lighting all had to be re-enacted even if many western governments had shied away.

Dinigeer Yilamujiang, a cross country skier from the Uyghur minority the government is accused of repressing, was selected to light the flame.

Russia President Vladimir Putin, having painted himself into a diplomatic and military corner over Ukraine, was one who attended, hoping that cosying up to President Xi might shore up what he clearly perceives as doubting support back home.

The Chinese organisers certainly put on a show with fireworks, special effects and 3,000 performers in the Bird’s Nest Stadium.

The city is the first to host both summer and winter Games.