2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

2022 Beijing Winter Olympics: China criticizes US diplomatic boycott.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China would be taking “resolute measures to counter the threat” but did not provide more details.

This morning, the US said it would not send diplomats to Beijing due to concerns over China’s human rights record.

It also said the US athletes could compete and receive the government’s full support.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the media briefing was attended by Mr. Zhao said he was accusing the US of infringing “political neutrality in sports” and claimed the planned boycott of the US was “based on rumors and lies.”

Tensions are high between the two nations. The US has claimed China of genocide over its brutal repression of the majority Muslim Uyghur minority within the Western region of Xinjiang – – a claim China has denied.

The relationship is also in a state of tension due to China’s repression of freedoms to vote at the level of Hong Kong and because of the concerns for the Chinese player Peng Shuai who was not seen for several weeks following her accusation of an official from the government of assault.

‘Political posturing’

Representatives of the top government officials – both from the US and other nations – usually attend during Olympic Games. In the past, first Lady Jill Biden led the US team at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

However, on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the US would not be a part of the “fanfare” at the Olympics. She added that the absence of an official contingent for the 2022 Games “could send an unambiguous message.”

“US officials or diplomatic representation will treat these games as just like every other day in the context of… horrendous human rights violations and brutalities that have occurred in Xinjiang,” she said. “We cannot do that.”

But Ms. Psaki stated that the US government felt it wasn’t proper “to penalize athletes who were practicing for at this point.”

On Tuesday morning, the Chinese social network Weibo’s search topic “US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics” was blocked.

A majority of the comments left below an article on the announcement by the state-owned newspaper Global Times were also deleted and left only eight of nearly 1500 comments unanswered.

“The Olympics are for athletes, So what has it got to have to do with… the political system? Even if you don’t, the only people you’re harming are your fellow neighbors (including players),” one such statement read.

China has been trying to remove the pain from this in recent days by dismissing this move as insignificant.

Officials claimed Covid restrictions implied that Beijing and the IOC did not have any dignitaries at all. It is likely to be seen this move criticized as another manifestation of the “Cold war mentality.”

However, it was impossible to think that the US president Joe Biden or any senior politician would attend games organized by a government he claimed was committing genocide.

In the months leading to this decision, one top US diplomat I talked to told me they’d be trying to educate their athletes on what’s going on across Xinjiang as well as Hong Kong. They had envisioned something similar to “fireside conversations” between athletes during events in Beijing.

What happens if the UK soon follows the same pattern? London has not yet officially accused Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Communist regime of genocide; however, foreign secretary Liz Truss has reportedly said precisely that during private discussions.

A while ago, a top UK official who was deeply involved in policy regarding China said to me that they believed Americans could see the UK as a “poodle” should it join an international boycott.

Bipartisan support

Within the US, the diplomatic boycott was welcomed by Democratic and Republican politicians.

Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the US and the world should not “proceed as if there’s nothing wrong with hosting the Olympics inside a nation that is committing genocide.”

HOWEVER, confident US lawmakers thought that the diplomatic boycott wasn’t enough, including Republican senator Tom Cotton calling it a “half measure” and insisting that the administration should have chosen to “fully outright boycott” the games.

Other countries – like Canada, have also said they are contemplating the decision. UK Vice-Prime Minister Dominic Raab said his government would decide “shortly” whether or not to be a part of the boycott, noting that he will not personally be attending the Olympics. Officials from Japan Australia have also stated that they are looking into the option.

Lithuania announced a diplomatic boycott during the Winter Olympics last week following China reducing its relations in a dispute about Taiwan. Beijing is adamant that Taiwan is a part of China However, Taiwan believes it is an independent country.

New Zealand, meanwhile, declared that its officials wouldn’t attend because of concerns about the covid-19 virus that is currently in the news. “But we’ve communicated to China many times our concerns over the rights of human beings,” Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson told reporters.

The Biden administration’s boycott diplomatic in the 2022 Winter Olympics falls far short of the previous US protest in 1980, which saw the US pull its athletes off the Moscow Olympics to demonstrate at the Soviet military invasion in Afghanistan the prior year.

The Soviet Union and its allies, too, were boycotted the subsequent 1984 Summer Olympics held at Los Angeles.

A Kremlin spokesperson condemned the recent US to boycott the US, saying the Olympics are “free of any political agenda.”

The US is scheduled to host the Summer Olympics in 2028 in Los Angeles.