China’s state media on Beijing’s Olympic boycott: Tom Cotton political rubbish

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Chinese state media calls the U.S. senator’s remarks ‘political rubbish’ after he told newspaper in Yiwu he did not support President Trump’s boycott call

China’s state media on Beijing’s Olympic boycott: Tom Cotton political rubbish

The Chinese state media are lashing out at Tom Cotton, saying his remarks questioning Beijing’s Olympic boycott of the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul was “political rubbish”.

The Republican US senator, who is reportedly a member of the president’s national security team, told a Chinese newspaper he did not support President Donald Trump’s call to leave next month’s Games in Pyeongchang over tensions with North Korea.

Cotton’s comments appeared to echo those made by US Vice President Mike Pence, who described the Olympics as a way to “keep North Korea off balance” and “protect the freedom of the world’s athletes”.

“Today’s editorial, entitled ‘Tom Cotton’s political rubbish’, by the ruling Communist Party-owned Global Times is nothing more than pure ‘yellow journalism’,” China Youth Daily said on its website.

“Cotton insulted the Olympic Games and did not respect his role of lawmaker,” said the paper, which is directed at youth and is a mouthpiece for the ruling Communist Party.

“China could not have stayed out of the Seoul Olympics after all, if their security concerns were expressed properly and honestly,” it added.

Beijing pulled out of the Games in Seoul shortly after it seized Hong Kong and sent tanks into Tiananmen Square in 1989 as it mobilised thousands of troops to quell pro-democracy protests.

Cotton’s comments came during a visit by Republican Senate members to China.

Sens. Mike Lee, Jeff Flake, David Perdue and Marco Rubio criticized an air and missile defense system being built in South Korea by the United States, calling it a “provocation”.

Kim did not attend the 1988 Olympics, in which East Germany, which had collapsed, sent athletes.

This article has been amended to clarify the sport in which the participating country withdrew from the Games.

By Shannon Young

CNN and Reuters

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