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Chinese state media 'relieved' US officials will not 'bring virus to Beijing Olympics'

Largely virus-free New Zealand has joined US-led boycott

Hu Xijin. (Weibo photo)

Hu Xijin. (Weibo photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese state media has reacted with indignation to news that the Biden administration is proceeding with a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics.

The White House confirmed the boycott on Monday (Dec. 6), saying it is being done to protest the myriad human rights abuses in the communist country. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said U.S. athletes will compete as usual but that government representatives “will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games.”

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpiece the Global Times was quick to respond. Chief among their messages was a snarky tweet framing U.S. officials as virus carriers who would not be welcome at the Olympics.

“To be honest, Chinese are relieved to hear the news,” the Global Times wrote on the platform. “The fewer US officials come, the fewer viruses will be brought in.”

The Global Times' Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin (胡锡进) was quick to join the fray: “Only super narcissistic people will regard their absence as a powerful boycott,” he wrote on Twitter moments later.

“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,” he continued.

China has repeatedly claimed that COVID-19 actually originated in the U.S.

Meanwhile, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that a diplomatic boycott is not enough:

“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,” he wrote.

Gregory Meeks, chairperson of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said the Biden administration has made “absolutely the right decision” and called on other countries to do the same.

New Zealand has already announced it will join the boycott, and Australia, Japan, and the U.K. are strongly considering it, according to The Australian.

Jurgita Siugzdiniene, Lithuania’s Minister for Education, Science, and Sport, has also said she will not attend the event.

Updated : 2022-01-19 10:20 GMT+08:00