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US' futile attempt to steal limelight from Winter Games

By Chen Weihua | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-10 07:57
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The Olympic flame for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games on display in Beijing's Olympic Tower on Oct 20, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

The "diplomatic boycott" of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games announced by the White House on Monday is nothing but a political farce aimed at smearing China, sabotaging the international sports event and dividing the world.

Most people could not figure out what "diplomatic boycott" meant when they first heard the United States' decision. When they did, many laughed at Washington's futile attempt to steal the limelight from the Winter Games, and by default China.

People around the world are looking forward to the Beijing Winter Olympics in February. They want to enjoy the performances by top athletes competing in a record 109 events, spread over 15 disciplines in seven sports. Few would want to waste time in checking whether officials from the US and some other Western countries are present at the Winter Games.

And there is little doubt that Bing Dwen Dwen (chubby giant panda) and Shuey Rhon Rhon (baby red lantern), mascots for the 2022 Winter Olympics and 2022 Winter Paralympics respectively, are much more eye-catching than those toxic politicians from some Western countries.

Some US leaders' attempt to politicize the novel coronavirus resulted in a horrible pandemic response in the US, which has the ignominious record of having the highest number of infections and deaths in the world. By calling for a "diplomatic boycott" of the Winter Games, some Western leaders are now politicizing the Olympics which doesn't have room for politics or ideology.

When the resolution,"Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal", or Olympic Truce for Beijing 2022, was co-sponsored by 173 UN member states and adopted at the 76th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, president of the UNGA, said that nations should use sport as a tool to support dialogue and reconciliation.

But the US and a few other countries are doing just the opposite by abusing the Olympic spirit to sow division in the international community and instigate confrontation. By staying away from the 2022 Winter Games, they will deprive themselves of gaining a better knowledge about a fast-changing China. Indeed, they will miss a great opportunity to see the diverse country firsthand.

The US' call (supported by some of its allies) for a "diplomatic boycott" of the Winter Games is aimed at isolating China, but ironically Washington and its allies find themselves isolated from the wider international community as the majority of the countries have chosen to ignore Washington's call despite its notorious coercive powers.

It is understandable that many world leaders won't be able to attend the 2022 Winter Olympics due to COVID-19 pandemic-necessitated travel restrictions. After all, only a handful of world leaders attended the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games, despite the event being deferred by a year due to the pandemic.

Like the Tokyo Summer Games, the Beijing Winter Games will demonstrate the fighting spirit of the world to overcome global challenges, from the pandemic to climate change. And the motto of the Beijing Winter Games-Together for a Shared Future-reflects exactly what the world needs today to tackle those common challenges.

Dick Pound, a Canadian national and the longest-serving member of the International Olympic Committee, said that he believes the "diplomatic boycott" will achieve little.

It's no surprise that US President Joe Biden has staged such a farce, given that he continues to follow his predecessor Donald Trump's hostile policy toward China in a bid to capitalize on the anti-China sentiment in Washington to push his domestic agenda.

Biden's move is also meant to distract public attention from the huge mess the US administrations have created at home and abroad, including the debacle in Afghanistan, the growing partisan divide at home, and Biden's rising disapproval rating (55 percent according to Gallup polls last month).

But no matter what US politicians and their Western cohorts do, they cannot steal the limelight from the Beijing Winter Olympics, because all eyes will be on the athletes competing at the Games.

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