(Image: AP/PDChina/Twitter )
Hours after China said that it has received VISA applications from US officials, Washington clarified that the said officials were going to Beijing to support their athletes. On December 6, the Joe Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympic games. However, on Monday, December 27, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed it has received at least 18 VISA applications from relevant US officials who allegedly aim to witness the winter games.
As Chinese media termed the US boycott as a ‘farce’, Foreign Affairs said that it will process the applications as per “international practice, relevant regulations, and principle reciprocity.” Replying on the same later, Washington asserted that there has been no change in their diplomatic boycott of the winter games. According to US States Department, the officials intended to visit Beijing to provide consular and diplomatic services to the American athletes, coaches, trainers, and other staff.
“We intend to provide consular and diplomatic security services to ensure our athletes, coaches, trainers, and staff are secure and have access to the American citizen services that we provide to all U.S. citizens overseas,” a joint statement from the US state department and White House National Security Council said.
On December 6, the White House confirmed a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Affirming the development, press secretary Jen Psaki, on Monday announced that the Biden administration will not send any diplomatic representatives to the 2022 event. The White House Press Secretary also confirmed that this is US' stand against Chinese human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The Chinese Communist Party is waging a targeted campaign against Uyghur Muslims in the region. The boycott was soon joined by Canada, Australia, and Japan.
Meanwhile, in response to the Biden administration’s decision, China accused the US of violating the Olympic spirit. According to AP, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian vowed that Beijing would respond with “firm countermeasures”, however, he gave no details. China also called the diplomatic boycott a 'political manipulation' by the United States. Separately, the Chinese Embassy in Washington said that politicians calling for a boycott are “doing so for their political interests and posturing”.