The United States has said it will not send a diplomatic representative to the Beijing Winter Olympics for “genocide and atrocities” perpetrated by the communist regime, to which it responded angrily: “We did not invite you at all, you will pay a price.” More countries are considering joining the diplomatic boycott. Will not be harmed, White House: “We will cheer from home”
China this morning (Tuesday) reacted angrily to the US announcement that it would not send any diplomatic representative to the Beijing Winter Olympics, in the face of what Washington described as “atrocities” stemming from serious human rights violations perpetrated by the communist regime. Beijing is taking “firm” response measures, which it did not elaborate, and said the U.S. would “pay the price.”
The White House announced the diplomatic boycott last night after several weeks in which it considered this move – which would not affect the ability of American athletes to participate in the Games. White House spokeswoman Jen Saki said the diplomatic boycott was in response to the Chinese regime’s “genocide and crimes against humanity” perpetrated against the Muslim Uighur minority in northwest China’s Xinjiang province, and for further human rights violations. “The athletes of the American team have our full support,” Saki stressed in a briefing to reporters last night. “We will stand behind them 100% and encourage them from home. But we will not contribute to the ‘orchestra’ around the games.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhou Lijian this morning sharply attacked this diplomatic boycott, warning that it would jeopardize cooperation between the powers. He claimed that this was a “conspiracy” on the part of Washington to disrupt the Winter Games, which will open this coming February. In his daily briefing to the media, Xiao promised that this conspiracy would fail, and that the U.S. would thereby lose its moral authority and credibility in the international arena.
A harsh response was also heard this morning from the Chinese embassy in Washington. A tweet on the embassy’s Twitter account said that politicians in the United States who promoted the diplomatic boycott “did it for their own political interests.” Of the Beijing Games 2022. “The Chinese delegation to the UN also attacked the boycott, saying that it was a” farce. ” “The United States just wants to instill politics in sports, create controversy and provoke provocations,” it said.
The administration of President Joe Biden has declared its diplomatic boycott amid growing pressure for such a move on the part of several lawmakers in Congress as well as on the part of human rights organizations. Republicans have also called for this boycott, led by Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the 2012 Republican presidential candidate. The move comes just weeks after a virtual summit between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, which was intended to ease some of the tensions between Washington and Beijing, but that goal does not appear to have been achieved.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing, against the backdrop of China’s rise and transformation from a Third World country into an economic and technological power, revolve around a wide range of issues – from human rights abuses to the Uighur minority, through the suppression of democratic protests in Hong Kong to China’s military aggression against Taiwan. In Beijing, on the other hand, the Biden administration is accused of interfering in China’s internal affairs. The decision on the diplomatic boycott also seems to have contributed to the Feng Shui tennis affair, which disappeared for about three weeks after she publicly accused the former Chinese deputy prime minister of sexually assaulting her. China eventually revealed videos of the tennis player documenting her smiling, but many still fear for her safety.
The United States is not the only one not to send diplomatic representatives to the Winter Games in Beijing. New Zealand has also announced that it will not send a ministerial ranking representative to the Games. “Our concerns about human rights issues.”
Lithuania, which is currently facing increasing diplomatic and economic pressure from China due to its warm relations with Taiwan, has also announced that it will not send senior representatives on its behalf to the Winter Olympics. Britain, Canada and Australia are also considering a diplomatic boycott of the Games. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deputy, Dominic Raeb, said this morning that London would consider the option “at the right time”.
In Italy, on the other hand, a government source said this morning that Rome did not intend to join the boycott. In Japan, it was reported that a decision to send government representatives to the Games would also be made “at the appropriate time” – and on the basis of a “thorough consideration of the various circumstances.” Japanese Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsunu added: “In any case, Japan’s hope is that the Beijing Winter Games will be held as a celebration of peace and based on the principles of the Olympics and the Paralympic Games.”
Sending senior diplomats to the Olympics is a common tradition in the United States and among other nations. For example, in 2008 then-US President George W. Bush himself attended the Summer Olympics in Beijing. The wife of the current president, Jill Biden, was sent to the Tokyo Summer Olympics earlier this year. The last time the U.S. boycotted Olympic Games was at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, along with 64 other countries, in response to the Soviet invasion the year before in Afghanistan.