Just over 40 days before the Winter Olympics in Beijing, relations with top Chinese sports leaders are getting strained. The games that kick off on February 4th face a diplomatic boycott of huge proportions.
Japan will not send any government delegations to the Beijing Winter Olympics scheduled for next February. Prime Minister and Government Spokesperson, Hirozaku Matsuno, announced today. Japan’s decision aligns with the initiative for a diplomatic boycott of the sporting event announced by the United States and several allied nations this month. According to reports from Matsuno, the Japanese delegation to the parliamentary event will be headed by Seiko Hashimoto, Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, had already announced on December 16 that he would not travel to Beijing for the Winter Olympics.
The United States has officially announced in recent days its decision not to send an official delegation to the Winter Olympics scheduled for February 2022 in China. This was announced by White House spokesman Jen Psaki, denouncing the “crimes against humanity” committed in the Xinjiang region and “other human rights violations.” Psaki explained that the decision did not include the athletes’ withdrawal: the intention was to send a “clear signal” to Beijing, but “we didn’t think it was the right choice, to punish the athletes who trained and prepared for it.” appointment,” identified. Last month, US President Joe Biden spoke of a diplomatic boycott as a “measure we are considering” in response to human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong and Chinese military pressure on Taiwan. The diplomatic boycott has been a topic of discussion at the White House National Security Council There has been no official confirmation from them yet.
The President of the International Olympic Committee (CIO), Thomas Bach, has commented in recent days on the diplomatic boycott initiatives of the Beijing Winter Olympics by the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Lithuania and Australia, among others, and the case of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai who has disappeared from the public scene after being accused to former Chinese Vice Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli of sexual harassment. Bach said he was convinced that diplomatic boycotts would have a limited impact on the Games scheduled in Beijing next February: Commenting on a report on the Tokyo Olympics last August, the official explained that “these games have been a success for athletes,” global audiences and Olympic values. It was the most-watched Olympic Games on digital platforms, and thus became the first real Games in a live broadcast.” As for Chinese tennis player Ping, Bach rejected the IOC’s criticism over the two video interviews with the athlete, which were apparently organized by the authorities. “We didn’t think (the athlete) was under pressure,” said the IOC president. “It’s very easy to be suspicious, but our approach is to maintain that contact with her and reassure her that we care about her. I appreciated both calls very much.”
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