Beijing has fired back - telling the politicians to "stop making sports a political matter."
Three U.S. senators are calling for American athletes to be forbidden from using China’s digital yuan at the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year.
In a letter to the chair of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, the Republican lawmakers claimed the “digital yuan is entirely controlled by the People’s Bank of China, and can be tracked and traced by the central bank.”
Marsha Blackburn, Roger Wicker and Cynthia Lummis also said that the Chinese government has the ability “to know the exact details of what someone purchased and where.” Their letter added:
“While the Chinese Communist Party insists their efforts are aimed at digitizing bank notes and coins, Olympic athletes should be aware that the digital yuan may be used to surveil Chinese citizens and those visiting China on an unprecedented scale, with the hopes that they will maintain digital yuan wallets on their smartphones and continue to use it upon return.”
‘An Important Matter’
The Republican lawmakers went on to warn that “the integration of China’s digital currency into global commerce has many problematic privacy implications,” warning:
“These concerns are especially pronounced given the Chinese Communist Party’s use of new and emerging technologies to suppress the Uyghur minority, the people of Hong Kong, and those across China who strive for freedom of expression. These concerns are not hypothetical.”
Unsurprisingly, their demands have been criticized by China’s foreign minister.
Speaking to reporters in Beijing on Tuesday, spokesman Zhao Lijian said:
“We suggest they figure out what a digital currency really is. The U.S. politicians should abide by the spirit stipulated in the Olympic Charter, stop making sports a political matter and stop making troubles out of the digital currency in China.”