Athletes will be able to take part in 2022 Beijing Olympics despite boycott: Ex-US diplomat
Washington: After the Biden administration announced the diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, former US diplomat on Monday (local time) informed that the athletes will still be able to take part in the games.
The remarks came from Chas Freeman, who was the US Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security Affairs from 1993-94 and US President Richard Nixon's translator during his 1972 visit to Beijing, reported Sputnik news agency.
"The athletes will be able to compete. They don't and won't care who is in the stands. China never intended to invite US officials to attend in any event," Freeman said.
Chas also said that the Biden Administration's Boycott of the Beijing Olympics is the 'minimal option' left to the US.
"Given the pressure to boycott the Olympics to protest all sorts of causes, this is the minimal option," Freeman said.
Earlier in the day, in a symbolic protest against China's "ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang," the Biden administration has decided not to send an official US delegation to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
"Beijing should not allow the petty slight to escalate needlessly into a new major clash between the two nations," Freeman was quoted as saying by Sputnik.
"If China is wise, it will brush this off as a petty move that does not require a response," the security expert added said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese have called the diplomatic boycott "a political manipulation" by the US and said that this is a grave distortion of the spirit of the Olympic Charter.
The US is looking to send a "clear message" that the human rights abuses in China mean there cannot be "business as usual," Psaki told media persons at a White House briefing.
According to CNN, the move marks an escalation of pressure by the US on China over allegations of forced labour and human rights abuses in China's western region of Xinjiang, particularly against the Uyghur population and other ethnic and religious minority groups.