As the world continues to march toward the Beijing Olympics in 2022, the global community is taking several different approaches to dealign with China’s longstanding human rights atrocities.
For the United States, the idea was that athletes would be allowed to make their own decisions about attending, but that the Biden administration would enact a “diplomatic boycott” of the games, refusing to sending any dignitaries to China for the event.
China has now revealed that this is some sort of hoax.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that an unconfirmed number of American officials have requested Chinese visas to travel to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics despite President Joe Biden announcing a “diplomatic boycott” of the event this month.
A “diplomatic boycott” is not a boycott, as politicians do not play in Olympic sports or participate in the event in any meaningful way. The White House nonetheless attempted to garner praise in early December by announcing that Biden administration officials would not attend the event in protest of the Chinese Communist Party’s long list of human rights abuses against its people, including top athletes. Human rights activists have primarily cited the ongoing genocide of the Uyghur people of East Turkistan – fueled by the imprisonment of millions of people in concentration camps where they are subject to extreme torture, gang rape, and forced sterilization – as a reason to relocate, cancel, or boycott the Beijing Olympics.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, a conspiracy theorist who has repeatedly claimed the Chinese coronavirus originated in Maryland without evidence, confirmed on Monday that Chinese officials are processing visa applications for American politicians.Advertisement - story continues below
Bikers shout slogan during a bike rally from Bengaluru to Delhi organised by the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress calling for a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and to support the Tibetan cause, in Ahmedabad on December 26, 2021. (SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)
“The Chinese side has received the visa applications from relevant US personnel,” Zhao told rpeorters. “Earlier, the US side, driven by political manipulation, directed and staged a farce of not sending a diplomatic or official delegation to the Beijing Winter Olympics even though no invitation had been extended.”
“Now with regard to the US request to send a team of government officials to China and their visa applications, the Chinese side will handle them in accordance with international customary practice, relevant regulations and the principle of reciprocity,” Zhao added. “Once again we urge the US to follow the Olympic spirit in practice, refrain from politicizing sports and stop erroneous words and acts that disrupt or undermine the Beijing Winter Olympics.”
The Biden administration has yet to address these accusations as of this writing.