Dec 7 (Reuters) - The United States will not send government officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics due to China's human rights "atrocities," the White House said on Monday, after Beijing threatened unspecified "countermeasures" against any diplomatic boycott.
Here are some reactions to the move:
STATEMENT BY SPOKESPERSON OF THE CHINESE MISSION TO THE UN:
"The so-called 'diplomatic boycott' by the United States is a self-directed political farce. Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games are the gathering for all winter sports athletes and fans around the world. It is them that should be in the spotlight. The success of the Games does not rely on the attendance of a handful of countries' government officials.
"The U.S. Government's decision reflects its mentality of the Cold War. The U.S. just wants to politicize sports, create divisions and provoke confrontation. This approach will find no support and is doomed to fail. It will only make them more isolated and stand in opposition to the trend of the times and to the vast majority of countries and people around the world."
SARAH HIRSHLAND, CEO OF UNITED STATES OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE:
"We greatly appreciate the unwavering support of the President and his administration and we know they will be cheering us on from home this winter. Competing on behalf of the United States is an honor and a privilege, and Team USA is excited and ready to make the nation proud."
FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO:
"A diplomatic boycott of the #Olympics is not enough. The CCP doesn't give a rip about a diplomatic boycott, because at the end of the day, they are still hosting the world's athletes. Joe Biden needs to stand up to the CCP."
U.S. REPUBLICAN SENATOR MITT ROMNEY, WHO LED THE 2002 SALT LAKE OLYMPICS:
"A diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games sends the right message to the CCP without punishing U.S. athletes. Never again must the Olympics be awarded to a nation which commits genocide and so blatantly violates the human rights of its own citizens."
INTERNATIONAL OLYMPICS COMMITTEE SPOKESPERSON:
"The presence of government officials and diplomats is a purely political decision for each government, which the IOC in its political neutrality fully respects. At the same time, this announcement also makes it clear that the Olympic Games and the participation of the athletes are beyond politics and we welcome this."
CANADA'S FOREIGN MINISTRY:
"Canada remains deeply disturbed by the troubling reports of human rights violations in China. We were notified of the U.S. decision and we will continue to discuss this matter with our partners and allies."
U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN NED PRICE:
"We want the private sector to be fully cognizant and to operate with full information with regard to what is transpiring in Xinjiang."
LIU XIAOMING, CHINA'S SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE ON KOREA PENINSULA AFFAIRS:
"The Winter Olympic Games is not a stage for political posturing and manipulation. U.S. politicians keep hyping a 'diplomatic boycott' without even being invited to the Games. This wishful thinking and pure grandstanding is aimed at political manipulation.
"It is a grave travesty of the spirit of the Olympic Charter, a blatant political provocation and a serious affront to the 1.4 billion Chinese people. It will only make the Chinese people and the world see clearly U.S. politicians' anti-China nature and hypocrisy."
GLOBAL TIMES EDITOR HU XIJIN:
"Only super narcissistic people will regard their absence as a powerful boycott. Most of those US govt officials are close contacts of the COVID-19 patients according to China's standard, moreover picky and pretentious. You are the people that Beijing residents least want to see."
JAPAN'S PRIME MINISTER FUMIO KISHIDA:
"We will consider matters such as the meaning of the Olympic Games and our diplomatic relations, and would like to make our own decision based on what is best for our national interest."
NURY TURKEL, VICE CHAIR OF UNITED STATES COMMISSION ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM:
"The Chinese government's systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom and other human rights of Uyghur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, Falun Gong practitioners, and many others betray the Olympic spirit. In fact, a genocidal regime should not have been granted the privilege to host the Olympics in the first place."
UNITED STATES COMMISSION ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM COMMISSIONER JAMES W. CARR:
"By implementing a diplomatic boycott, the United States and like-minded countries send a strong and unequivocal message to the Chinese government: the international community condemns and does not tolerate its egregious policies that actively persecute religious minorities. USCIRF urges the Chinese government to abide by the international standards it has signed and immediately cease the persecution of vulnerable religious groups."
SIMON CHADWICK, INTERNATIONAL SPORTS INDUSTRY SPECIALIST AT EMLYON BUSINESS SCHOOL IN LYON, FRANCE:
"This will be a challenging decision for some, specifically France, but equally China will remember in 2028 when the Olympic Games are in Los Angeles, and it could well be that we see kind of longer-term tit-for-tat moves being made by China in response to what the United States has done."
NBC SPORTS SPOKESPERSON:
"We look forward to bringing the stories of the men and women of Team USA to the American audience as they compete against the best athletes from around the world at the Winter Olympics in February."
OMER KANAT, UYGHUR HUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:
"The Chinese government is using the 2022 Winter Games as a showcase for its world leadership. A diplomatic boycott sends a strong signal: governments refuse to give a green light to the Uyghur genocide."
U.S. DEMOCRATIC SENATOR CHRIS COONS, MEMBER OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE:
"I'm glad that President Biden is placing human rights at the center of American foreign policy, and I hope other nations and corporate sponsors will consider joining this boycott to call attention to those defending free, open, and inclusive societies in China and around the world."
INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR TIBET:
"The rest of the world must now follow the US' lead, and the IOC must take accountability for its horrendous decision to award the Games to China in the first place."
SOPHIE RICHARDSON, CHINA DIRECTOR AT HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH:
"The Biden administration's announced diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Games is a crucial step toward challenging the Chinese government's crimes against humanity targeting Uyghurs and other Turkic communities. But this shouldn't be the only action. The US should now redouble efforts with like-minded governments to investigate and map out pathways to accountability for those responsible for these crimes and justice for the survivors."
ANGELA RUGGIERO, FOUR-TIME OLYMPIAN ICE HOCKEY PLAYER:
"My initial reaction was a bit of relief that it wasn't anything more dramatic," Ruggiero told Reuters by phone.
"You know, you work all your life to compete and you never want politics to get in the way of that chance."
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