China has expressed displeasure over an expected political boycott of its upcoming 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Promising to “take firm countermeasures,” the communist regime threatened to retaliate against the United States and the Biden administration if it goes ahead with the plan.
The Biden administration is expected to announce that it will not be sending a diplomatic delegation to attend the 2022 Beijing Olympics. The move was brought in part by America’s long-standing trade war with China, as well as its treatment of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and members of the Uyghur ethnic minority in the Xinjiang province.
The move adds further strain on the relationship between the two countries.
According to the U.S. State Department under both the Trump and Biden administrations, China is effectively conducting crimes against humanity against the Uyghur people. An estimated two million members of the ethnic group and political dissidents are understood to be housed in reeducation camps throughout the northwestern Chinese province.
Despite the Biden administration’s plans to stage a diplomatic boycott, the move will allow the United States to send a message to China without preventing U.S. athletes from competing in the games.
In response to the threat of boycott, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made fun of the U.S. over the expected move, claiming that American politicians were never invited in the first place.
Zhao added salt to the wound by mocking his American counterparts for “grandstanding.”
“Without being invited, American politicians keep hyping the so-called diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic, which is purely wishful thinking and grandstanding,” Zhao said to reporters at a daily briefing, the Hill reported.
“If the U.S. side is bent on going its own way, China will take firm countermeasures,” warned Zhao.
The Associated Press reported:
The dispatching of high-level delegations to each Olympics has long been a tradition among the U.S. and other leading nations — then-president George W. Bush attended the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Summer Games. First lady Jill Biden led the American contingent to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this year and second gentleman Doug Emhoff led a delegation to the Paralympic Games.
The possibility of a diplomatic boycott comes as the U.S. attempts to stabilize turbulent relations with Beijing, even as it maintains a tough approach toward trade frictions and conflicts over China’s actions on Taiwan, human rights, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.
Beijing has mounted a stiff response to all U.S. criticisms, denouncing them as interference in its internal affairs and slapping visa bans on American politicians it regards as anti-China.
While the move would be largely symbolic, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said in November that he supported a diplomatic boycott, but added that U.S. athletes needed to go to China to “kick their commie a**es.”
“I’ve been leaning in hard saying we ought to move the Olympics out of China, that’s what we should have done,” Cruz said on CBS’ Face The Nation.
“The IOC refused to do that,” added Cruz. “I think it’s a mistake to have a full boycott of the Olympics. You know, Jimmy Carter tried that in the 1970s. All it did was punish a generation of athletes. We’ve got young men and young women, Americans, who spent their whole lives practicing for this moment. I don’t want to punish those young athletes. What we ought to do — I do agree with the notion of a so-called diplomatic boycott — which means we don’t send high ranking cabinet officials over there.”
“But I also think it’s important we do two things at the Olympics in China,” Cruz added. “Number one, that we actually show the courage the Women’s Tennis Association is showing to call out the murder, the genocide, the torture, the lies, the complicity in COVID-19 of the Chinese communist government, to speak the truth. And then number two, I really hope our young men and women that they go over there and kick their commie a**es. We need to win in the Olympics.”