(RepublicanInformer.com)- Despite Olympic officials banning the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin from attending the Beijing Olympics, China’s President Xi Jinping extended an invitation to the Russian Leader. And last week, Putin happily accepted.
The International Olympic Committee banned Russia from competing in the Olympics in 2017 after a whistleblower from the Russian team revealed that the government had been providing performance-enhancing drugs to as many as one thousand Russian athletes.
While the IOC has barred the Russian government and Putin from attending the games, there is one loophole: if a representative from the host government extends the invitation.
The Kremlin confirmed in November that President Xi had invited Putin, but said at the time that President Putin would need to settle his schedule before accepting the invitation. And during a virtual meeting with President Xi on Wednesday, Putin gladly accepted.
During their virtual meeting, Putin joined Xi in condemning attempts to “politicize” the Olympic games, most likely a dig at the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK announcing diplomatic boycotts of the games.
Two weeks ago, press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House stands behind the US Olympic team and will be cheering them on from home. But the administration will not contribute “to the fanfare of the games.” In protest of Beijing’s “egregious human rights abuses,” especially regarding the slave labor in the Xinjiang province, Psaki explained, no US diplomat or government official will “treat these games as business as usual.”
China immediately mocked and dismissed the President’s action, pointing out that China had not invited any American officials to the Beijing games.
Zhao Lijian, the spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry called the decision “political posturing and manipulation.”
A diplomatic boycott will not prevent US athletes from competing in the Beijing Olympics which begin in February.
Last week, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-MA) and Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) sent a letter to the CEO of NBC/Universal urging the network not to broadcast Chinese propaganda during its airing of the Beijing Olympics.