Diplomatic boycott of the Olympics is a ‘farce’, says China

BEIJING, China – China on Thursday described the decision by Canada and the United Kingdom to join Washington’s diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing as a “farce.”

China is not concerned that the absence of the dignitaries could set off a chain reaction, as many heads of state, heads of government and members of royal families have signed up to attend, the ministry spokesman said. Press conference.

All three countries have said they will not send government dignitaries to the February 4-20 Games to protest against human rights abuses in China. New Zealand said it had previously informed Beijing that it would not send dignitaries due to travel restrictions related to the pandemic, but said it has also raised human rights concerns.

Despite the diplomatic boycott, countries will continue to send their athletes to compete.

Wang said China has not sent invitations to the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom and that “no matter whether their dignitaries come or not, they will see the success of the Winter Olympics from Beijing.”

“Sport has nothing to do with politics,” Wang said. “They are the ones who wrote, directed and performed this charade.”

China is not only convinced that there will be no chain reaction, but sees overwhelming global support for the Games, he said.

“At this time, many heads of state, heads of government and members of the royal family have registered to attend the Beijing Winter Olympics, and we welcome them,” Wang said.

China has vowed to respond to the United States with “strong countermeasures” on the boycott, but has not provided details on how it plans to retaliate.

Human rights groups have called for a full boycott of the Beijing Winter Games, citing human rights violations by China against its Uighur minority in the northwest Xinjiang region, which some have described as genocide. Also noteworthy are Beijing’s crackdown on democratic protests in Hong Kong and a radical crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous territory.

Canada’s move came as no surprise amid the sharp deterioration in bilateral relations since China arrested two Canadians in December 2018, shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies and daughter of the company’s founder. company, following a US extradition request.

Canada and others condemned what they called the “hostage policy,” while China described the charges against Huawei and Ms Meng as a politically motivated attempt to slow down China’s economic and technological development.

China, the United States and Canada concluded what was essentially a prisoner swap earlier this year, but the reputation of the Chinese government has been seriously tarnished in Canada.

Dennis Alvarado

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