CHINA / SOCIETY Boycott Beijing Winter Olympics? China never plans to invite these US politicians, source says
By Martin Milman
China never plans to invite US and Western politicians who hype the “boycott” topic to attend the Games and experts said that their so-called boycott is nothing but self-deception.
Recently, some politicians in the US and Western countries have been hyping the “diplomatic boycott” of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, citing what they called human rights concerns. However, in accordance with the Olympic rules, for politicians to attend the Games they must be invited by their own countries’ Olympic committees first and the final decision relies on the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The Global Times has learned that as the host country, China has no plan to invite politicians who hype the “boycott” of the Beijing Games.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Monday responded to the White House’s possible decision that neither US President Joe Biden nor any other US government official will attend the Beijing Winter Games, an announcement expected to be made by the end of the month.
The Winter Olympics is a grand event for global athletes and winter-sports enthusiasts, not a stage for political manipulation. And its success is never determined by whether certain country’s officials will attend or not, Wang said at Monday’s media briefing.
Wang also said politicians attending the Olympic Games must be invited by their own countries’ Olympic committee according to rules.
The “boycotts” of US and certain countries are in essence a smear campaign under the guise of “human rights” to politicize sports events, the spokesperson said. Their move is also a clear violation of the Olympic Charter, especially the principle of political neutrality of sports events.
These forces have run counter to the updated Olympic motto which adds “together” to stress on unity. They are doomed to face firm opposition from the international community, Wang said.
Given the grave situation of the COVID-19 pandemic globally, it is not proper to invite foreign guests on a large scale, which can be easily understood by people with common sense, analysts said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer world leaders attended the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games, the lowest number on record for the recent Olympics, the Japan News reported.
China aims to present a “simple, safe and splendid” Olympic Games with athletes playing the main role. The success of the Beijing Games depends on the excellent performances of the athletes and the shining of the Olympic spirits. It has nothing to do with whether some anti-China politicians from the US or Western countries will attend or not, analysts said.
They noted that the Beijing Olympic Games may be more extraordinary without these politicians who have done no good but to politicize the Games. The US and some Western politicians’ politicization of the Olympics is what the international community should boycott.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a press conference on Friday that athletes and national committees’ eagerly signing up for the Beijing Winter Olympics is a sharp contrast to some US and Western politicians’ hyping of the “boycott,” which has fully shown so-called boycott wins no support.
According to data from the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, as of November 17 it had received more than 14,000 applications for registration from countries including the US, Australia and European nations, with 1,528 from the US Olympic Committee, Zhao told the press briefing.
China firmly believes that under the guidance of the Olympic spirit, more people will oppose politicization of the Olympics and firmly support the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. China will work with the IOC and every country to present a “safe, simple and splendid event,” Zhao said, noting that all political tactics that go against the Olympic spirit will die down and the Olympic flame that represents peace and friendship will blaze in Beijing National Stadium, or the “Bird’s Nest.”
The IOC and Olympic committees from many countries as well as athletes are opposing the hyping of the “boycott” of the Beijing Games, saying this political stance hurts interests of the IOC, athletes and Olympic spirit.
Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita on Monday wished the Beijing Winter Olympics success, and said Japan will send a “large-scale” delegation of more than 200 people to the Games, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Yasuhiro will also join the delegation.
Former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda also sent his best wishes for the upcoming Games, noting that he will coordinate with relevant departments to provide maximum support for the event.
Dick Pound, the longest serving member of the IOC, told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics in February that countries should resist calls to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics because it does nothing but hurt athletes.
Australian athletes cherish the opportunity to compete in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, said Geoff Lipshut, Chef de Mission for the Australian Olympic Team, the Xinhua News Agency reported on November 18.
“Our athletes … traveled last season in very difficult circumstances around the world during COVID without vaccine then, so they had to be very health conscious. But all of them took it very seriously because they wanted to qualify to go to Beijing,” said the former aerial skiing coach who has been to seven Olympics since Lillehammer in 1994.