Fintech News & Trends in Hong Kong and Asia

Ministry rebuts ‘coercive diplomacy’ claims

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at a regular press briefing on Dec 27, 2021. (PHOTO / FMPRC.GOV.CN)

The Foreign Ministry said that China has received visa applications from United States officials to attend the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and will process them according to standard international practices, relevant regulations and the principle of reciprocity.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that without receiving invitations and out of political manipulation, the US "directed and staged a farce of not sending a diplomatic or official delegation to the Beijing Winter Olympics"

Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian confirmed this on Monday at a daily news briefing, after reports said that the US government recently submitted to China an application for three-month visas with a list of 18 names to attend the Games to provide security and medical support for US athletes.

Zhao said that without receiving invitations and out of political manipulation, the US "directed and staged a farce of not sending a diplomatic or official delegation to the Beijing Winter Olympics".

"Once again we urge the US to follow the Olympic spirit in practice, refrain from politicizing sports and stop erroneous words and acts that disrupt or undermine the Beijing Winter Olympics," Zhao said.

In another development, Zhao dismissed remarks made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying that these "do not square with facts and are full of misunderstanding and miscalculation with regard to China".

ALSO READ: 'Ping-pong diplomats' look forward to 2022 Winter Olympics

In an interview on Saturday, Trudeau claimed that China had been "playing" Western countries against each other, adding that these nations should "show a united front" against Beijing's increasingly "coercive diplomacy".

Zhao said, "China's diplomacy is aboveboard and China never engages in provocation and coercion."

China, in fact, was the victim of coercive diplomacy by the US, he added.

The US concocted the "Meng Wanzhou incident" in an attempt to suppress and contain the development of China's high-tech industries, Zhao said.

"A handful of countries led by the US unscrupulously interfere in China's internal affairs on issues related to Hong Kong and Xinjiang in the name of democracy and human rights, trying to impose their 'rules' on China. That's flat-out coercive diplomacy," he added.

Zhao stressed that relations between China and Canada were at a crossroads and Ottawa must think clearly about whether it views China as a partner or an adversary.

"This is a fundamental question bearing on the future of bilateral ties that Canada must figure out how to answer."

READ MORE: Diplomatic boycott of Beijing Games only draws attention to US' failings

Zhao called on Ottawa to discard erroneous perceptions of China and view the country in an objective and rational manner.

"Canada should replace its wrong perception of China with an objective and rational view, adopt a positive and pragmatic China policy, work with the Chinese side in the same direction and bring bilateral relations back onto the right track of development."