Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) criticized the Biden administration’s “diplomatic boycott” of the Beijing Winter Olympics, saying it “does not go far enough” to hold China accountable.
Ryan said in a statement on Monday:
China has been a bad actor and everyone knows it — from continuing to stonewall on the WHO [World Health Organization] investigation of COVID-19 origins to perpetrating genocide and committing mass humans rights violations. I’m glad to see the Biden Administration take steps to hold China accountable, but this diplomatic boycott does not go far enough. China has demonstrated again and again that they do not deserve the honor associated with hosting the Olympics, and the Games should be hosted elsewhere.
The White House on Monday announced a “diplomatic boycott” of the upcoming Winter Olympics, citing the Chinese Communist Party’s continuous human rights violations. Under this “boycott,” the United States will not send U.S. Government officials to the Beijing event. However, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that American athletes will still compete in the upcoming games.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian claimed Biden’s “boycott” is “pure grandstanding” because U.S. diplomats were never invited to the games. Zhao said:
US 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.
Ryan, who is running for U.S. Senate in 2022, called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in August to bar China from hosting the Winter Olympics entirely. He said, “China’s refusal to work with the World Health Organization to understand the origin of this virus is irresponsible and unacceptable. In addition to its longstanding persecution and human rights violations against the Uighur ethnic minority—itself enough to warrant moving the 2022 Winter Games—China’s refusal to cooperate on the origins of the COVID virus is yet one more example of China thumbing its nose at the international community.”