Source: Frances Martel

The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that an unconfirmed number of American officials have requested Chinese visas to travel to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics despite President Joe Biden announcing a “diplomatic boycott” of the event this month.

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A “diplomatic boycott” is not a boycott, as politicians do not play in Olympic sports or participate in the event in any meaningful way. The White House nonetheless attempted to garner praise in early December by announcing that Biden administration officials would not attend the event in protest of the Chinese Communist Party’s long list of human rights abuses against its people, including top athletes. Human rights activists have primarily cited the ongoing genocide of the Uyghur people of East Turkistan – fueled by the imprisonment of millions of people in concentration camps where they are subject to extreme torture, gang rape, and forced sterilization – as a reason to relocate, cancel, or boycott the Beijing Olympics.

No country has agreed to boycott the Olympics, including countries facing imminent Chinese invasion, like Taiwan. The White House announcement of an alleged “diplomatic boycott” set off a wave of similar actions, however, from the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan. Other countries, like New Zealand, announced they would not send politicians to the Games not as a political statement, but out of fear of exposing the officials to China’s currently out-of-control domestic Chinese coronavirus outbreak. New Zealand is nonetheless exposing its athletes to the danger, elevating China by accepting its status as an Olympic host country.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, a conspiracy theorist who has repeatedly claimed the Chinese coronavirus originated in Maryland without evidence, confirmed on Monday that Chinese officials are processing visa applications for American politicians.

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