(FiveNation.com)- After the White House announced last Monday that the US would stage a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics to protest China’s human rights abuses, the response from Beijing was dismissive at best.
During a press conference on Monday, Zhao Lijian, the spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry vowed that there would be “resolute measures” to the US diplomatic boycott. Zhao dismissed President Biden’s decision as “political posturing and manipulation.”
On Tuesday, Liu Mingche, counselor for the Chinese Embassy in Russia called the Biden administration’s decision “a senseless desecration of the sacred Olympic spirit.” Liu said that the diplomatic boycott won’t have any impact on the Beijing games, adding that any opposition that “violates the true democratic spirit will not be approved.”
The President’s diplomatic boycott does not mean that the US Olympic team will not be competing in the Beijing winter games which begin in early February. Instead, the US will not send any government officials to attend the games.
Last Monday, press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House stands behind the US Olympic team and will be cheering them on from home. But, Psaki added, the administration will not contribute “to the fanfare of the games.”
Psaki explained that no US diplomat or government official will treat the Beijing Olympics as “business as usual,” adding that the diplomatic boycott is in protest of Beijing’s “egregious human rights abuses,” especially regarding China’s use of Uyghur slave labor in the Xinjiang province.
While the White House’s decision did receive bipartisan support in Congress, some lawmakers argued that this diplomatic boycott doesn’t go far enough.
Tennessee Republican Senator Bill Hagerty said in a statement on Monday that Biden’s diplomatic boycott was “the bare minimum” and the administration should do more to hold China accountable.
Hagerty’s sentiments were echoed by Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley. Hawley told the Daily Caller that Biden’s diplomatic boycott was “a joke,” arguing that Beijing won’t care “if Biden and his team show up. They want our athletes.”
Utah Senator Mitt Romney, meanwhile, praised the White House, calling Biden’s decision the right one.