Last week WaPo cited multiple officials within the Biden administration who said President Biden would soon declare a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Before the White House could even announce a formal boycott for U.S. leaders – including Congressional members, Communist Party-backed Global Times said Monday that Beijing has no intentions to ask U.S. politicians to attend the Games.
Global Times indicated that Beijing has “no plans to invite U.S. and Western politicians” who hype the “boycott” of the Winter Games.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Monday at a regular briefing in Beijing that a White House decision to block the U.S. president and other U.S. government officials from the Winter Olympics could be announced shortly. He said the Games are “a gathering of winter sports lovers and athletes from around the world, not a stage for political posturing and manipulation.”
“The U.S. and a handful of countries make an issue of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games and link their officials’ attendance with so-called human rights issues,” Wenbin said. “This is, in essence, a smear campaign in the name of defending human rights.”
At the center of the controversy are Biden and other Western politicians who criticize Beijing’s handling of Muslim minorities in its far western region of Xinjiang. Secretary Jen Psaki recently said the U.S. had “serious concerns about the human rights abuses we’ve seen in Xinjiang.”
Global Times said China plans a “simple, safe and splendid” Olympic Games without anti-China politicians. It noted that the Games might be more impressive without these politicians who do nothing more than make trouble.
Dick Pound, the longest-serving member of the International Olympic Committee, told CBC News that countries should resist calls to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics because it would hurt athletes.
Despite global calls for boycotting the Games, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said he was attending the sporting event.
While Biden and other Western politicians stand against China’s human rights record, Beijing is thankful these politicals aren’t showing up to create controversy.