US diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

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The US plans to announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

The state-run Global Times reported last week that Beijing had no plan to invite any American politicians, saying: “Without them messing things up, the Beijing Winter Olympics will be even more splendid.”

President Joe Biden said in November that Washington would consider declining to send a delegation of officials to the Games.

The White House said that it had serious concerns about the human rights abuses we’ve seen in Xinjiang, the suppression of political freedoms in Hong Kong and ramping up military pressure on Taiwan.

Australia and Canada are also reportedly considering diplomatic boycotts of the spectacle.

 

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from afr 6.12.21

Washington | The US is poised to announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, CNN reported on Monday, a move that will escalate tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

The decision not to send any US government officials to the Games beginning February 4 will be announced this week, the media outlet reported, citing several people it did not identify.

China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg News. The White House declined to comment.

Any such move by Washington would be largely symbolic because few US officials are likely to visit China because of its strict quarantine rules and clashes over allegations of human rights violations.

The state-run Global Times reported last week that Beijing had no plan to invite any American politicians, saying: “Without them messing things up, the Beijing Winter Olympics will be even more splendid.”

President Joe Biden said in November that Washington would consider declining to send a delegation of officials to the Games, with the White House adding it had “serious concerns about the human rights abuses we’ve seen in Xinjiang”.

Washington has also accused Beijing of curtailing political freedoms in Hong Kong and ramping up military pressure on Taiwan, which receives strong US support.

Australia and Canada are also reportedly considering diplomatic boycotts of the spectacle.

China denies charges made by the US and lawmakers in other Western nations that it is committing genocide in the far western Xinjiang region, which has a large Muslim Uighur population.

Beijing has also lashed out at the US over a potential diplomatic boycott, saying sporting events should not be politicised.

Adding to the frictions between Beijing and Washington, Mr Biden will host a virtual democracy summit on Thursday and Friday, with Taiwan among the more than 100 invitees that include the UK and Japan.

The event aims to bring together democratic governments to discuss their efforts to fight corruption and authoritarianism and advance human rights.

A Chinese official said over the weekend the event would be a “joke” and that the American political system does not represent a real democracy.

Party officials questioned how a polarised country that botched its response to COVID-19 could lecture others, and said that efforts to force others to copy the Western democratic model are “doomed to fail”.

Neither China nor Russia are among about 110 governments that have been invited to Mr Biden’s virtual “Summit for Democracy”, which will address strengthening democracy, defending against authoritarianism, corruption and human rights.

The participation of Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that China says should be under its rule, has further angered Beijing.

Bloomberg

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