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6 Dec, 2021 23:58

China responds to US boycott of Beijing Olympics

China responds to US boycott of Beijing Olympics

Beijing has shot back after Washington declared a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics, saying American leaders hadn’t been invited to the event to begin with, and blasting the move as “political manipulation.”

Asked about the boycott announced by the Biden administration earlier on Monday, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in the US, Liu Pengyu, told Reuters the decision contradicted the “spirit” of the Olympics, but would have no negative effect on the games, set for China in February.

“Such a pretentious act is only a political manipulation and a grave distortion of the spirit of the Olympic Charter. In fact, no one would care about whether these people come or not, and it has no impact whatsoever on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to be successfully held,” he said.

No invitation has been extended to US politicians whatsoever, so this ‘diplomatic boycott’ simply comes out of nowhere.

Liu went even further in a follow-up post on Twitter, sharing a graphic with text denouncing the “State of Democracy in the United States.” It went on to say the American system was based on “a game of money in politics,” ruled over by a “minority elite,” and had a “trust crisis.”

While the Biden administration noted that American athletes would still be permitted to compete in the Olympics, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said US officials would not be attending, citing alleged “crimes against humanity” against ethnic and religious minorities in China’s Xinjiang province and “other human rights abuses.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry denounced the move soon after it was announced, with spokesman Zhao Lijian blasting it as “grandstanding” and warning of “resolute countermeasures.” Beijing’s embassy in the Czech Republic has also sparred with its American counterpart online, telling Washington to “stop self-flattering” and suggesting US officials hadn’t been invited to the games in the first place.

Biden officials had publicly discussed a potential boycott for some time, though it was unclear whether the administration would move ahead on the idea after a relatively amicable virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month. Despite calls from Beijing as recently as last week to pursue more “positive” ties, Biden is apparently taking a more confrontational approach, having repeatedly labeled China the US’ top “competitor” and a threat in the Indo-Pacific region that had to be countered.