On Tuesday, China warned the United States would “pay the price” for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics upon human rights matters.
The step by the US which halted short of restricting athletes from going to attend arrives following Washington spent months discussing over what position to take on the Games, starting in February 2022, over what it has labeled China’s “genocide” of the Uyghur minority.
The Move May Result in Unspecified Countermeasures
The step has faced major aggressive resentment from Beijing, which is threatening of unstipulated counteractions, cautioning the US would “pay the price for its wrongdoing”.
At a daily press briefing, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, Zhao Lijian told reporters “Stay tuned,” then added, “The US attempt to interfere with the Beijing Winter Olympics out of ideological prejudice, based on lies and rumors, will only expose (its) sinister intentions.”
Zhao said “The Winter Olympics are not a stage for political shows and political manipulation,” adding further, blaming the US for “actions that interfere in and undermine the Beijing Winter Olympics.”
Us Officials to Boycott Beijing Olympics Over Rights ‘Atrocities’
However, the move taken by Washington has received extensive support from rights groups and politicians in the country, where President Joe Biden has been under an immense burden to stand up against abuse of Chinese rights.
Jen Psaki, the press secretary of the White House stated that the administration would not send any of the diplomatic or official representation to the Games because of China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”
Psaki said sending official representation would be an indication that the Games were “business as usual,” adding “And we simply can’t do that.”
She then added “The athletes on Team USA have our full support. We will be behind the 100 percent as we cheer them on from home.”
It was called by the International Olympic Committee as a “purely political decision for each government, which the IOC in its political neutrality fully respects.”
A spokesperson for IOC said the announcement “also makes it clear that the Olympic Games and the participation of the athletes are beyond politics and we welcome this.”
Russia, whose predecessors state the USSR was based on a complete boycott of the Olympics by the United States in 1980 after it attacked Afghanistan, bashed the decision.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “Our position is that the Olympic Games should be free of politics,”, though stated that it was optimistic that competitors were not affected as a result of the decision.
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Diplomatic High-wire Act
US-China bonds struck a low point under the presidency of the former president Donald Trump, with huge trade conflicts and fiery talks upon how the Covid-19 virus shot up in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Biden has wanted to improve the relationship with Beijing whilst at the same time aiming at boosting traditional US alliances to offset China’s rising economic influence and military occupancy over the Indo-Pacific region.
The Biden administration has left trade tariffs imposed on China in the Trump era in place and perpetuates to command naval patrols through sensitive international sea lanes that Beijing is alleged to be attempting to get under its control.
However, with Biden also pointing up the necessity for dialogue, critics on the right claim he is just being too polite, which is resulting in the emerging Olympic Games a political crisis.
A spokesman for the State Department, Ned Price said that the members of Team USA, their coaches, trainers along other staff will continue to receive consular and diplomatic security aid.
According to campaigners, a minimum of one million Uyghurs and other Turkic-speaking, maximum Muslim minorities have been detained in camps in Xinjiang, where China is also alleged of forcefully sterilizing women and inflicting forced labor.
The chair of the powerful US Senate foreign relations committee, Bob Menendez, supported the diplomatic boycott calling it “a powerful rebuke” of the “genocide in Xinjiang.”
The decision by the Biden administration has been called “crucial” by the Human Rights Watch, but requested more culpability “for those responsible for these crimes and justice for the survivors.”
The Beijing Olympics have also been thrown into the shade as a result of accusations of sexual harassment made by the then-tennis star Peng Shuai against a retired top Communist Party politician. Nothing has been heard in the last three weeks from the three-time before re-emerging after assertions made by her started to censor rapidly.
Only six months following the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Summer Games, the Winter Olympics will be conducted from 4th to 20th February in a “closed-loop” bubble taking into consideration the Covid-19 restrictions.
The residents on the streets of Beijing expressed that they had not agreed with the move taken by the US.
A 72 years old retired teacher expressed his resentment saying “Sports is sports. How is it connected to politics? Besides, should political standards be set by the US? Does whatever standard you say become the de facto standard?”