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US Announces Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics Over “China’s Human Rights Abuses”

com/politics/white-house/diplomatic-boycott-winter-olympics-beijing-expected-announced-rcna7691″ target=”_blank”>NBC News

The government chaired by Joe Biden announced on Monday a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics, which will be held next February in Beijing, according to a White House spokeswoman.

This means that no government official will attend the sporting event, although that will not prevent American athletes from competing.

A woman visits Shougang Park on November 9, 2021, where the logos of the Winter Olympic Games are displayed in Beijing, China By Han Guan / AP

“The Biden Administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing-2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, given the genocide and crimes against humanity that the People’s Republic of China is committing in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses, “Jen Psaki said during a press conference.

“As President Biden has told Chinese President Xi Jinping, standing up for human rights is in the DNA of Americans. We have a fundamental commitment to defending human rights“, he specified

China responded this Monday by transcending Biden’s intentions: “The Winter Olympics are not a stage for political spectacle and political manipulation,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference.

A boycott would be, in his opinion, “a serious stain on the spirit of the Olympic Charter”, the document that contains the fundamental principles of the Olympic movement, and “a political provocation and a serious offense to the 1,400 million Chinese,” he said.

Zhao further warned that China will take “firm action” to any boycott, which, he said, would affect “dialogue and cooperation with the United States on important matters.”

Congressional pressures

Biden has come under pressure from Congress to diplomatically boycott the competition in response to China’s lack of fundamental human rights.

China has been criticized for cracking down on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong; for its policies towards Tibet and Taiwan; and for detaining and mistreating Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang

The State Department, together with European countries, rated China’s actions against the Uyghurs as genocide

“We are very concerned about the human rights abuses we have seen,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last month.

Calls for a full or diplomatic boycott of the Games have grown since Chinese female tennis star Peng Shuai was not seen publicly for three weeks after accusing a former senior Communist Party official of sexual assault.

Peng finally reappeared, but doubts remain as to whether he acts of his own free will or under the obligation of the authorities

Some consider that a diplomatic boycott is the best way to demand explanations from China without punishing the athletes who have been training for these Games for years.Others suggest that Beijing would not care too much if politicians and diplomats were absent.

“Why should China worry”, reflected last month an editorial in the state newspaper Global Times, referring to Western objections to the Games “China would lose if it cares about this strategy,” he stressed

If the United States imposes such a boycott, you probably won’t be alone Canada, the UK and Australia are among those who have said they consider pushing for similar action

If a massive Olympic boycott were to occur, it would be the first since the Cold War.

Jimmy Carter’s government led a sports boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980 which was joined by more than 60 countries by the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan a year earlier In retaliation, the Soviet boycott of the Moscow Olympics Los Angeles in 1984 was followed by 15 states

Thomas Bach, President of the IOC International Olympic Committee, has reiterated that he is against boycotts against the most important event of his organization

“A sports boycott is useless,” he said last year, recalling that the Soviet Union remained in Afghanistan for nine years after the 1980 boycott due to its invasion. joy of sharing, “he noted

The International Olympic Committee has been accused of being too soft on China, both in the Peng case and in allowing China to host the Games.

Mounting pressure on China comes as the Uyghur Court, a non-governmental body set up by UK lawyers, sets out on Thursday to issue a finding on whether China’s actions against its Muslim minority amount to genocide, as it claims. U.S

China says the camps in which, according to human rights groups, nearly a million people have been detained, are for “education and vocational training”, necessary to fight internal terrorism.

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