China has allegedly increased security in Tibet prior to the Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

China has reportedly increased security in Tibet prior to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, it has been claimed.

Radio Free Asia, an American Government funded news service, cited sources in Tibet’s regional capital Lhasa.

The source claimed enhanced security and restrictions had been placed on people’s movements in Lhasa, as well as the areas of Shigatse, Chamdo, Draggo, Ngaba, and Rebkong.

Tibet has been under Chinese control since 1950 and while it claims the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has autonomy, activists reject this as autonomy in name only and say the TAR comprises only a fraction of the historical boundaries of Tibet.

Three Tibetan-rights activists disrupted the lighting of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Flame in Greece earlier this year, citing China’s human rights record.

The protestors came from the London-based Free Tibet campaign, with the trio having been given a trial date of February 3 next year - one day before the Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony is scheduled. 

Six groups advocating Tibetan rights also staged a protest in Paris during November against the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

The alleged restrictions in Tibet were linked by Radio Free Asia to a media conference held by the Chinese Government’s Information Office on December 23, which said visitors to the Olympic and Paralympic Games would be strictly monitored during the event.

Beijing 2022 has already confirmed health monitoring will be required for participants at the Games, who will enter a "closed-loop management system" and will only use designated transport to move between approved venues.

Those who are fully vaccinated will not need to isolate for 21 days before entering the closed loop.

Overseas spectators have been banned because of the pandemic, but organisers hope to have domestic fans in attendance.

China has increased COVID-19 restrictions in several areas, with the city of Xi'an having been forced into a lockdown amid an increase in cases.

Activists staged a protest at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony earlier this year ©Getty Images
Activists staged a protest at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony earlier this year ©Getty Images

Xi'an is roughly 1,000 kilometres from Beijing and has a population of 13 million.

It is the capital of landlocked province Shaanxi and home to the Terracotta Army sculptures, but is not due to play any direct role in the hosting of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

People from areas deemed high and medium-risk are required to take nucleic acid tests before being allowed to travel to Beijing.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are set to take place from February 4 to 20, with the Winter Paralympics following from March 4 to 13.

Tibet is one of the areas raised in the build-up to the Games, with China’s human rights record having been a subject scrutinised.

China has faced allegations of mass imprisonment, torture, forcibly separating families, forced labour and detaining thousands in internment camps.

China has denied the allegations and claimed internment camps are training centres designed to stamp out Islamist extremism and separatism.

Australia, Canada, Britain and the US are among the countries to have already announced a diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 in protest at China’s human rights record.

Others have supported China's hosting of the Olympics, including Russia.

France, South Korea and several other countries have announced they will not boycott the Games.