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Three senators encouraged the Olympic Committee to collaborate with federal agencies “to protect American athletes’ privacy from the Chinese Communist Government.”
Three US senators have signed a letter requesting Olympic organisers to prohibit American athletes from using the digital yuan at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
In a Monday letter to U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee board chair Susanne Lyons, Republican senators Marsha Blackburn, Roger Wicker and Cynthia Lummis requested officials prevent U.S. athletes from using or accepting digital yuan, given their allegation that it can be “tracked and traced” by the People’s Bank of China, or PBoC. The three claimed that the Chinese Communist Party could use the digital currency to surveil visiting athletes and upon their return to the United States.
According to the senators, the Chinese government recently implemented new capabilities for the digital yuan, allowing officials to “know the exact details of what someone purchased and where they acquired it.” They offered WeChat, a messaging and payment service, as an example, stating that the technology was already being used to “surveil, intimidate, and imprison Chinese residents.”
Lummis, Blackburn, and Wicker asked the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for a briefing on the subject within 30 days. They requested the Olympic Committee to collaborate with federal agencies “to protect American athletes’ privacy from the Chinese Communist Government.”
In April 2020, China began conducting trials of its digital yuan, handing out thousands of dollars in the central bank digital currency, or CBDC, to residents in several locations. The PBoC also stated that it was considering allowing foreign athletes and visitors to use the CBDC during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which would be the first time foreign nationals have done so in China.
Despite the fact that the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo have been postponed by a year owing to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Beijing is said to be on pace to host the Winter Olympics in February 2022. Since March 2020, China’s National Health Commission has routinely recorded fewer than 200 new domestic COVID-19 cases each day, but other stories have stated the government is behind a pandemic propaganda campaign.