China grants visas to US officials to Winter Olympics
Published: Jan 19, 2022 07:27 PM
The torch is seen during the Torch Exhibition Tour of Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Jan. 5, 2022.Photo:Xinhua


China has demonstrated responsibility and maturity in granting visas to US officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics, experts said, noting that Washington's flip-flop attitude in international affairs is eradicating its credibility, and it's time for the superpower to grow up.

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a Wednesday briefing that China has granted visas to some of the US officials. He also confirmed that many of those officials are from the US Department of State or other government bodies.

Zhao said he hopes the US can work with China to create a good atmosphere for the Winter Olympics. 

As to whether the US move contradicts its previous statement of not sending diplomats or officials, Zhao said the question should be answered by the US.

The South China Morning Post cited sources on Wednesday that the US has expanded a list of officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics from 18 to 46, and most work for the Department of State.

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that China's gesture demonstrated its generosity toward the US' childish and two-faced behavior. 

The US has used actions to overturn its previous snarl as it realized that without diplomats and official representatives, the athletes' needs cannot be fulfilled, which will impact their performance, said Li. 

Yet he noted the US double-faced flip-flop is eradicating its credibility in front of the world, and a slap on the face of its allies, such as Australia and Japan, which followed Washington and made a similar decision. 

The Global Times learned previously that as the host country of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, China never planned to invite US and Western politicians who hype the "boycott" topic to the Games, and experts said that their so-called boycott is nothing but self-deception.

China aims to present a "simple, safe and splendid" Olympic Games with athletes playing the main role. The success of the Beijing Winter Olympics depends on the excellent performance of the athletes and the shining of the Olympic spirit. It has nothing to do with whether some anti-China politicians from the US or Western countries will attend or not, analysts said.  

Li also viewed the US visa applications as corrections made by the Biden administration to its earlier announcement and a sign of the adjustment in US policy toward China. "Maybe the Olympics is the way out for the US to cooperate with China," said Li, noting that it's a sign worth noticing. 

"No matter what is behind the US change, one thing is certain: collaboration with China requires action, and trash talking and smears are not welcome. It's time for the US to grow up," Li said.