Not That They Were Expected in the First Place
© Sputnik / Ted RallSeeking to send a "clear message" about the situation in Xinjiang, the Biden Administration announced a “diplomatic boycott” of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
© Sputnik / Ted Rall
On Monday, the Biden administration announced it would refuse to send any US government officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, stressing the action is a diplomatic boycott.
And although the White House justified the decision on the alleged mass violations of human rights in Xinjiang and other regions, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has already claimed the US is "trying to disrupt" the winter sports event because of "ideological prejudice."
The Chinese have already clarified that no invitation was sent to the US diplomats in the first place, so Washington's actions should be deemed as nothing more than "political manipulation," just like they did in the 1980s with the games held in the Soviet Union.
The severity of the boycott is questioned by many. In an interview with Sputnik, former US diplomat and China relations expert Chas Freeman explained that the Biden administration picked the "minimum option" available in the situation, to make the minimum impact on the event, as athletes "don't and won't care who is in the stands."
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov also dismissed the US decision as hardly a boycott, citing pre-agreed COVID-19-related restrictions on foreign delegations.
In the meantime, the Chinese ministry's spokesman stated that the US decision to have its officials boycott the games will not only hurt bilateral discussion and cooperation in key sectors, but will ultimately cause robust countermeasures for which the US will pay a price.
So, how about sending the US officials an official waiver of invitation to the event?