Friday, March 24

Biden to push for ‘diplomatic boycott’ of Beijing Winter Olympics

Correspondent in New York



The White House said after the summit between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping that the Winter Olympic Games from Beijing they were not part of the discussion. It will be a new platform to project the power of China internationally and in EE.UU. The voices have multiplied for the country to boycott the event.

According to ‘The Washington Post’, the Administration Biden will shortly announce a “diplomatic boycott” of these Olympic Games, that is, the absence of representatives of the US Government in Beijing.

It will be done in response to abuse and human rights violations in Xinjiang, Tibet or Hong Kong, but without prejudice to the participation of athletes who have been preparing for the event for years.

The most important bilateral summit of this year closed almost at midnight on Monday – Tuesday morning in Spain – with just one understanding: the US.

and China acknowledge that the spiral of tensions between the two countries is dangerous. The long-awaited meeting between the two leaders of the main world powers, Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, was full of good words and expressions of respect, but, at the same time, empty of commitments.

“We did not expect there to be achievements,” a senior Biden Administration official acknowledged after the summit in a call with members of the press. “And there were none,” he confirmed after a meeting that ended without a joint statement from both powers, as was tradition until US-China relations deteriorated.

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Trade war

The first time there was none was at the summit between Xi and Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, which hardened the relationship with the Asian giant with a trade war, not yet resolved. Biden inherited and embraced that combativeness with China, whom he described as soon as he arrived at the White House as the great international challenge of the United States.

The spiral of tensions has only accelerated since then: confrontation by Taiwan, complaints of violation of Human Rights in Xinjiang, Tibet O Hong Kong; accusations of cyberattacks, territorial ambitions in the Pacific, arms race, commercial fight …

Biden and Xi talked about all this during more than three and a half hours, without making progress on any front. The only diplomatic victory would be the conviction that this spiral can only end badly. “Our responsibility as leaders of China and the US is to ensure that competition between our countries does not lead to conflict, whether intentional or unintentional,” said Biden in the first minutes of the meeting, those of the greetings between the two presidents , and that they were allowed to be captured by the media.

“Deepening the ideological demarcation, the division between rivals, the confrontation of groups, will inevitably bring disaster to the world,” Xi said along the same lines, according to Chinese state television, in a reference to the efforts Washington for adding international support – with its European partners, with the military project Aukus with the United Kingdom and Australia, with strategic alliances in Asia- in the last year.

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National Alpine Ski Center, one of the facilities of the Beijing Games
National Alpine Ski Center, one of the facilities of the Beijing Games – Reuters

“The consequences of the Cold War are not far off,” warned Xi, at a time of growing military tensions, despite the fact that the economic and trade relationship between the US and China is very different from the one with the USSR and the Soviet bloc.

In these tensions, Taiwan is one of the hottest spots. In recent months, there has been an escalation of statements and actions between the two countries. Biden has insisted that he will defend Taiwan with the Army in the event of a Chinese invasion, Beijing has intensified military exercises in the vicinity of the island, a delegation of US politicians has visited the territory, the US Navy has sent ships of war…

At the meeting, Biden reiterated that the US maintains the ‘One China’ policy – the recognition that China regards Taiwan as part of its sovereignty – but said it would “strongly oppose” unilateral moves that affect the peace and stability in the region.

Xi: “Play with fire” in Taiwan

More aggressive was his Chinese counterpart, who claimed at the summit, according to state television, that the US was “playing with fire” in Taiwan. “And he who plays with fire ends up burning,” he added.

There were also no developments in matters where cooperation is easier, such as the climate change. Xi warned that his participation in commitments on climate change will be “conditional” on “stability” in the rest of the relationship. The senior US official assured that Chinese cooperation in this chapter will not be treated as “a favor.”

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In his conversation with Biden, Xi portrayed the US-China relationship like that of two ships at sea that must avoid colliding. At the moment, they have not agreed to slow down or change their course. They only recognize the danger of an onslaught.

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