China condemns US diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics – Community News
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China condemns US diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Tuesday accused the United States of betraying Olympic principles, saying Washington will “pay a price” for its diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Games in Beijing, even as a top International Olympic Committee official paid tribute for the US decision. .

The White House announced Monday that U.S. government officials will boycott the Winter Olympics https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/us-officials-boycott-beijing-olympics-cnn-2021-12-06 due to the rights “atrocities although the action will allow American athletes to travel to Beijing to compete. Key US allies have been hesitant to join the action.

The administration of President Joe Biden cited what the United States calls genocide against Muslim minorities in China’s far western region of Xinjiang. China denies all rights violations.

In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing that his country opposes the US diplomatic boycott and promised “resolute countermeasures” in response.

“The United States will pay a price for its wrongdoing,” he said without giving details. “Let’s all wait and see.”

The IOC, the governing body of the global Olympic movement, held board meetings at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tuesday ahead of the Winter Games scheduled for February 4-20 in Beijing.

“We always ask for maximum respect and minimum interference from the political world,” said Juan Antonio Samaranch, head of the IOC’s coordination committee for the Beijing Olympics. “We have to be reciprocal. We respect the political decisions of political bodies.”

The Winter Games will begin about six months after the conclusion of the Summer Games in Tokyo, which have been delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are extremely proud, happy and hopeful that in 59 days all the athletes of the world will live in peace,” said Samaranch, referring to the planned start of the Winter Games.

The United States will host the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and is preparing a bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

When asked whether China would consider a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics in the United States, Zhao said the US boycott has “damaged the foundation and atmosphere” of sports exchange and cooperation in the Olympics, which he compared to ” lift a stone around one’s own foot.”

He called on the United States to keep politics out of the sport and said the boycott was against Olympic principles.

The US diplomatic boycott, encouraged for months by some members of the US Congress and human rights groups, comes despite an effort to stabilize ties between the world’s two largest economies, with a video meeting last month between Biden and China’s Xi Jinping.

It was not immediately clear whether other countries would join the United States. A senior Biden government official said, on condition of anonymity, that the United States consulted a wide range of allies and partners before announcing the decision, but is not coordinating a global boycott campaign.

‘THE ONLY OPTION’

Bonnie Glaser, a China expert with the United States’ German Marshall Fund, told a US congressional hearing on Tuesday that unless other countries join the boycott, it would undermine the message that China’s human rights violations are unacceptable.

“Now I think the only option really available to us is to try and get as many countries as possible to join us in this coalition,” Glaser said.

Canada’s foreign ministry said Monday it will continue to discuss the issue with partners and allies. Australia, Britain, the Netherlands and Japan said they were still considering their positions. New Zealand’s deputy prime minister said the country would not send government officials, but that decision was based largely on concerns about COVID-19.

Chinese media and scientists criticized the US actions.

“It is foolish and foolish of the United States to do this,” Wang Wen, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing, told Reuters, adding that other major powers could do the same with the United States by 2028.

Some political analysts said the US diplomatic boycott is less of a threat to the Games and more of a make-believe matter fueled by Beijing threatening unspecified retaliation.

“It would have been a non-story, let alone,” said Lisa Delpy Neirotti, a professor of sports management at the George Washington University School of Business in Washington. “Normally we don’t send a large government delegation anyway, especially in COVID times.”

The diplomatic boycott puts Olympic sponsors of companies in “an awkward place,” but is less of a concern than a full measure excluding athletes, said Neal Pilson, a former CBS Sports president who oversaw the Olympics broadcast rights agreements.

A spokesperson for Comcast-owned NBCUniversal said it will broadcast the Games as scheduled.

(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Yew Lun Tian, ​​Trevor Hunnicutt, Karolos Grohmann and Steve Keating in Toronto; editing by Will Dunham, Clarence Fernandez, Nick Macfie, William Maclean)