The Biden administration mentioned on Monday it might not ship an official United States delegation to the Beijing Winter Games as a press release towards China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity” in Xinjiang. American athletes will nonetheless be allowed to take part within the Games.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian advised a information convention on Monday native time, “American politicians keep promoting ‘diplomatic boycott’ without even being invited to the Games. This wishful thinking and pure grandeur are aimed at political manipulation.” “
Zhao called the boycott “a severe defiance of the spirit of the Olympic Charter” and a “grave insult to the 1.4 billion Chinese individuals”.
“The United States should cease politicizing the Games and selling so-called ‘diplomatic boycotts’ in order to not have an effect on the Sino-US dialogue and cooperation in essential areas,” he mentioned.
While the meeting yielded no significant success, it allowed a return to a more constructive, stable relationship after a nearly total breakdown during the final year of the Trump administration and continued hostilities in the Biden administration.
Beijing has given no clue what countermeasures it is considering, but the prospect of further retaliation now threatens to derail bilateral ties once again.
In comparison to the angry response of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, some Chinese diplomats and state media staff have offered a more irresponsible offer on Twitter – which is blocked in China – to US politicians not yet invited to the Games.
Hu Zijin, editor-in-chief of the nationalist tabloid Global Times, also weighed in.
While Beijing is probably not too involved concerning the absence of American politicians, it may develop into a significant headache if extra international locations be part of the US transfer. Earlier, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia have all mentioned they’re contemplating a diplomatic boycott.
Activists have lengthy known as for a boycott of the Beijing Games in Xinjiang and Tibet to protest China’s human rights abuses and its political crackdown on Hong Kong. Over the previous month, Beijing’s silence on Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai’s sexual assault allegations towards a former Chinese chief has fueled such calls.
The US diplomatic boycott has been welcomed by rights teams. Human Rights Watch known as it “an important step toward challenging the Chinese government’s crimes against humanity targeting Uighurs and other Turkic communities”.
Sophie Richardson, China’s director at Human, mentioned, “But this should not be the only action. The United States must now work with like-minded governments to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for these crimes and justice for the victims.” needs to be doubled.” Rights Watch said in a statement.
The potential snowball effect is clearly on the minds of some Chinese diplomats. For example, the Chinese mission to the United Nations has called the US move a reflection of “its Cold War mentality”.
“America simply needs to politicize the video games, create division and provoke confrontation. This method will discover no help and is doomed to fail. It will solely isolate them an increasing number of time.” and will stand in opposition to the vast majority of countries and people around the world,” mission spokesman Zhu Zhiqiang mentioned in a press release.
Washington’s response to the Beijing Winter Games is in stark distinction to its method to the Beijing Summer Olympics 13 years in the past, when the Chinese authorities confronted sharp criticism and protests towards its crackdown on Tibet.
In 2008, then-President George W. Bush attended the Olympic opening ceremony and cheered for American athletes through the Games. His father, former President George HW Bush, additionally participated within the Games as an honorary captain of the US staff.
CNN’s Ellie Malloy, Kate Sullivan and Caitlan Collins contributed to this report.