White House confirms diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

The Chinese Embassy in the US has given assurances that the boycott will have “no impact” on the “success” of the competition

The White House this Monday confirmed the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in response to the Chinese government’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, which means no senior US official will attend the sporting event, which has been unprecedented since 1980.

White House confirms diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics
White House confirms diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has indicated that the Joe Biden administration is sending a “clear message” that violations cannot go with impunity. At a press conference, Psaki confirmed that the decision had been made “in the face of genocide and the ongoing crimes against humanity” in Xinjiang Province.

Despite not sending a diplomatic delegation, the White House has given the US Olympic team its “full support” while insisting it is unwilling to “add to the fanfare of the game,” reports CNN. Psaki added that the government did not consider it a “right or fair move” to completely boycott the Games as it would punish American athletes.

For his part, State Department spokesman Ned Price has defended the decision because, without diplomatic representation, no signal is sent that the competition is faced with “ongoing atrocities, crimes against humanity and genocide”.

Price has indicated that Washington will “support” diplomatic services to US citizens such as athletes, coaches and staff who choose to travel to Beijing for the Games.

Although the spokesman has indicated that the boycott is a decision “each country must make”, he expressed his hope that other governments “will announce their decision in the coming days and weeks”. “What we do know is that there are many countries around the world, including many of our closest allies, who share these concerns (about the abuses in Xinjiang),” he recalled.

On the flip side, he has shared with the private sector that he has “a vast amount of information about the concerns” that Washington has raised about the situation in the region, for which he has asked them to “make decisions about their practices” in this regard. “We want the private sector to receive and work with all information about what is happening in Xinjiang,” he said.

There had been talk of a possible American boycott for the past few weeks. Biden himself admitted in November that the diplomatic boycott was on the table after it was called for by prominent voices from major parties, including House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, Democrat.

After hearing the news, the official Global Times newspaper posted a message on her Twitter account assuring that “to be honest, the Chinese are relieved to hear this news because the fewer Americans are coming the fewer viruses are introduced into the country “. .

For his part, the spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in the United States, Liu Pengyu, regrets that the boycott callers are “pursuing their own political interests” and assured that “nobody would care” if a US diplomat delegation went to the competition or not because “It will not affect the successful completion of Beijing 2022”.

A similar measure was last used on Jimmy Carter in the White House when the US politically distanced itself from the Moscow Olympics. Now countries like Canada or the UK are considering joining the boycott of the United States.

Tension between the US and China has been constant over the past few years and, in fact, Biden has not invited the Asian giant to the summit for democracy he is organizing this week. One of the most important American allegations concerns the treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, but also criticizes the suppression of dissenting opinions in Hong Kong.

The official Chinese press in the past few weeks has repeated boycott threats from the United States and other countries in the United Kingdom, and in late November the Global Times made it clear that Beijing is the leader who even launched diplomatic retaliatory measures related to the Olympics Play to take hold.

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