Report Wire - US officers to boycott Beijing Olympics over rights ‘atrocities’

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US officers to boycott Beijing Olympics over rights ‘atrocities’

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US officials to boycott Beijing Olympics over rights ‘atrocities’

The United States is not going to ship authorities officers to the 2022 Winter Olympics as a result of China’s human rights “atrocities,” the White House mentioned on Monday, after Beijing threatened unspecified “countermeasures” towards any diplomatic boycott.
President Joe Biden mentioned final month that he was contemplating such a boycott amid criticism of China’s human rights document, together with what Washington says is genocide towards minority Muslims in its western area of Xinjiang. The transfer — regardless of a current effort to stabilise ties with a video assembly final month between Biden and China’s chief Xi Jinping — is for certain to additional pressure the 2 superpowers’ relations, which have been at their lowest level in many years.
“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki advised a day by day press briefing. “US diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we simply can’t do that,” Psaki mentioned, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

The diplomatic boycott, which has been inspired by some members of Congress and rights advocacy teams for months, wouldn’t have an effect on the attendance of American athletes, she mentioned.
“The athletes on Team USA have our full support. We will be behind them 100% as we cheer them on from home.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken has mentioned the United States has consulted allies on a “shared approach” to the Beijing Games. It was unclear if they might comply with the US lead.
“Canada remains deeply disturbed by the troubling reports of human rights violations in China,” Canada’s overseas ministry mentioned in a press release. “We were notified of the US decision and we will continue to discuss this matter with our partners and allies.”
The diplomatic boycott additionally places company Olympic sponsors in “an awkward spot”, however fell in need of the US authorities implying they need to reduce ties, mentioned Neal Pilson, a former president of CBS Sports who has overseen Olympics broadcast rights offers.
“The most important issue (for the sponsors) is whether the US team would attend,” Pilson mentioned.

Asked whether or not the Biden administration needs American corporations to boycott the Games, State Department spokesman Ned Price advised reporters the federal government wouldn’t dictate personal sector practices, however that companies ought to be “fully cognisant” of what’s transpiring in Xinjiang.
A spokesperson from Comcast-owned NBCUniversal, which is broadcasting the Beijing Games within the United States, mentioned it might nonetheless be broadcasting occasions from China.
China’s embassy in Washington known as the US transfer “political manipulation”, as no invites had been prolonged to US politicians within the first place. “In fact, no one would care about whether these people come or not, and it has no impact whatsoever on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to be successfully held,” embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu mentioned.
Earlier, China’s overseas ministry mentioned Beijing would take “resolute countermeasures” ought to Washington go forward with such a boycott, nevertheless it didn’t elaborate.
The United States is subsequent as a result of host an Olympics in 2028 in Los Angeles, elevating questions of how China would possibly reply.
Beijing says it opposes the politicisation of sports activities, nevertheless it has punished American sports activities leagues prior to now, together with the National Basketball Association, for crossing political purple traces.
‘Excited and ready’
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), which has confronted criticism for turning a blind eye to China’s proper document, mentioned the Games ought to be “beyond politics”.
“The presence of government officials and diplomats is a purely political decision for each government, which the IOC in its political neutrality fully respects,” an IOC spokesperson mentioned.
Sarah Hirshland, chief government of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, mentioned Team USA was “excited and ready to make the nation proud.” “We greatly appreciate the unwavering support of the President and his administration and we know they will be cheering us on from home this winter,” she mentioned in a press release following the boycott announcement.
Many US athletes argued it might have been unfair to ban them from the Games, and a few US lawmakers who supported not sending officers had mentioned it was in US pursuits for its nationwide anthem to be enjoying in Beijing as Americans obtained medals.
While a handful of outstanding Republicans criticised Biden for not pursuing a full boycott, Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who led the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, mentioned Biden had made the best alternative.
Human rights teams welcomed the transfer, however mentioned Washington might do extra to carry China accountable. For China, which denies all rights abuses, Biden’s transfer is much less a menace to the Games and extra of an optics downside that Beijing fueled by threatening retaliation, specialists mentioned.
“It would have been a non-story if let alone,” mentioned Lisa Delpy Neirotti, an affiliate professor of sport administration on the George Washington University School of Business. “We typically do not send a large government delegation anyway, especially in Covid times.”
China plans to restrict spectator attendance on the February Games, citing strict Covid-19 protocols, and Chinese state media have mentioned Beijing doesn’t intend to ask Western politicians who threaten boycotts. Russian President Vladimir Putin is the one chief of a serious nation who has accepted China’s invitation. Other international locations, together with Australia and Britain, are reportedly contemplating their very own boycotts.
Stefano Sannino, chief of the European Union’s diplomatic service, mentioned on Friday that boycotts have been a matter for particular person member states, not widespread EU overseas coverage.

Scott Kennedy, a China professional on the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, mentioned Beijing had choices to retaliate — corresponding to limiting bilateral dialogue, stalling visas, or hamstringing athletic delegations and journalists on the Games — all of which can result in additional diplomatic backlash for China’s ruling Communist Party.
“The ultimate origin of these tensions is China’s shift in a more autocratic direction. That’s the CCP’s choice, but it doesn’t mean the rest of the world simply has to remain silent,” he mentioned.