China’s ambassador to Pakistan has said his country appreciates Pakistan for being against the “politicization” of sports after Islamabad’s comment that the Beijing Winter Olympics would offer “a spectacular and colourful gala to sports enthusiasts around the world.”
“Pakistan’s position to oppose any form of politicization of sports is highly appreciated. The Beijing Winter Olympic Games is not a stage for the posturing and grandstanding of politicians,” Nong Rong wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Even as the US, UK, Australia, Lithuania and Canada have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, Pakistan supported its all-weather ally and said that the Beijing Olympics would offer “a spectacular and colourful gala to sports enthusiasts around the world.”
Xinhua reported Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad, while addressing a weekly media briefing, expressed Islamabad’s confidence in China’s plan to host the Beijing Winter Olympics.
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Ahmad said the event would offer “a spectacular and colourful gala to sports enthusiasts around the world, including in Pakistan,” despite the limitations imposed by Covid-19, according to the Xinhua report.
“The Olympic games symbolise sportsmanship, team spirit, unity, effort, struggle, and maintaining grace in competition whatever the results are,” the spokesperson said.
The United States, Britain, Canada and others have announced a diplomatic boycott under which they will not send government officials to the Games in protest over China’s treatment of Turkic Muslim Uyghurs and other minority groups, along with civil society and human rights activists.
New Zealand has also said it informed Beijing earlier it would not send any officials due to pandemic travel restrictions but had also communicated its human rights concerns.
In a symbolic protest against China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang,” the Biden administration on Monday announced it has decided not to send an official US delegation to the Beijing Winter Olympics.
France also said it has “well noted” the US decision to diplomatically boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics of 2022 and that it will consult with European partners on the next step, a foreign ministry spokesperson on Tuesday.
On its part, China has dismissed the decision of diplomatic boycott as a futile gesture that violates the Olympic spirit, but has also vowed to retaliate.
Beijing Winter Olympics will begin on February 4, 2022, and end on February 20.