Shipped to sender. American President Joe Biden can’t seem to do one good thing. His heartfelt appeal at the beginning of December extended to the entire “democratic world” to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics is becoming a boomerang. And the blowback is expected to be quite strong.
The anti-Chinese appeal was immediately joined by the usual countries of the English-speaking group (in addition to the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and Japan was also immediately aligned. Now we learn that in the last few days the Beijing Government has received a request from the US State Department and the Pentagon for 18 visas to be able to attend the opening day of February 4th, announcing that another 40 visas will be needed, all requested by American Institutions and Government Bodies, contravening the boycott request ardently urged by Biden. The Chinese government says it will think about it, but in the meantime reiterates that it was not in its plans to extend any invitation to political and diplomatic representatives of the United States and of the countries of the famous English-speaking group, irreducibly anti-Chinese, and to all those Western countries that had obeyed Biden. So the boycott request makes no sense because China did not invite them. Worse for Japan that had immediately announced its alignment with the boycotters and that would now look very bad asking for visas for its diplomatic and political “VIPs”. Prof. Li Haidong of the Institute of International Relations of the University of Foreign Affairs in Beijing said: “If these gentlemen who asked for visas were not considered representatives of the U.S. government, and they are, who are they to President Biden? Is the boycott declaration the work of a madman?” Prof Li also noted that there is an obvious contradiction: on one side the White House boycotting, on the other the State Department (i.e. the US Foreign Ministry) and Pentagon asking for visas…The Biden administration – he added – is in total confusion, the President is recreating the hysterical climate of McCarthyism. Politicizing sports is a nonsense that only Biden could have imagined”. His colleague Prof. Shen Yi of Fudan University echoes him from Shanghai, adding that those who have called for a boycott, before their visa request is examined by the Beijing government, will have to correct their anti-Chinese position and make it known to the whole world, declaring the President’s gross error. One more piece that adds to the gaffes so far collected by Joe Biden since the day of his inauguration a year ago, passing through the hasty flight from Kabul, the gathering of the “democracies”, the creation of the Indo-Pacific anti-Chinese front, the threats on Xinjiang, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the sanctions on Russia and now the boycott of the Olympics, wishing the absence of those who were not invited.