China says welcome as US to send 300 athletes to Winter Games
Published: Dec 20, 2021 10:27 PM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian

China welcomes athletes from all countries, including the US, to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, wishing them good luck and will ensure their safety and convenience, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday, after the US said it will send about 300 athletes. 

Voices from international community in support of the event and against the politicization of sports have been rising, Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson, said at a regular press briefing on Monday. 

US Olympic and Paralympic Committee chief executive officer Sarah Hirshland said on Friday that the US will send some 230 athletes to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and another 65 to the Paralympic Games in February.

US' "diplomatic boycott" of the event has "embarrassed itself," Lü Xiang, a research fellow on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Monday.

No one cares whether US officials or politicians come, nor will it impact the Games, Lü said, noting that the so-called boycott is nothing but self-deception.

On December 2, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Olympic Truce Resolution for the event drafted by China and co-sponsored by 173 member states. On December 11, the declaration of the 10th Olympic Summit voiced firm opposition to any politicization of the Olympic Games and sports.

The mainstream international community perceives China as a reliable partner, Lü said.

Multilateral mechanisms such as the Group of 20, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have also voiced strong support for the Games, according to Zhao.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the event, Zhao said. French President Emmanuel Macron and Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer both oppose the politicization of the Olympic Games. 

Senior officials from many countries, including South Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, have all expressed their stance that the Olympics is not a place for ideological confrontation, but a platform for closer friendship and cooperation between states, Zhao said.