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The Chinese Foreign Ministry has replied to claims made by US senators that the digital yuan will be used as a tracking and tracing tool during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Even before the Olympic flame is lit at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, tensions between US politicians and Chinese authorities are mounting.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian responded to a letter from US senators asking the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee not to use the digital yuan at next year’s Olympics.
Calling for the U.S. politicians to “abide by the spirit stipulated in the Olympic Charter,” Lijian asked them to “stop making sports a political matter and stop making troubles out of the digital currency in China,” the South China Morning Post reported.
Claiming that the recent actions revealed ignorance, Lijian suggested U.S. lawmakers “figure out what a digital currency really is.”
Senators Marsha Blackburn, Roger Wicker, and Cynthia Lummis issued a letter to Susanne Lyons, chair of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, earlier this week. The three demanded officials restrict U.S. athletes from using or accepting the Chinese digital money, citing the accusation that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) can “monitor and trace” the digital yuan.
The senators said that the Chinese Communist Party might use the digital money to track visiting athletes once they return to China, claiming that the additional characteristics of the digital yuan allow Chinese officials to “know the exact details of what someone purchased and where they acquired it.”
The three senators asked for a 30-day briefing on the subject from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in their letter.
China, on the other hand, sees the Beijing Winter Olympics, which will take place next year, as the first international test of China’s central bank digital money.
“For the next Beijing Winter Olympics, we were aiming to make e-CNY available not only to local users but also to international athletes and similar visitors,” PBoC deputy governor Li Bo stated in April at the Boao Forum for Asia.