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“In my view, this senator is a political rubbish,” Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of state-run Global Times, wrote on Twitter, a platform that is banned in China. “He lies, is bellicose, lacks the least self-awareness. Hope in the US Congress, there isn’t only stink of rubbish like him.”
The tweet included a video of a press conference earlier this week in which Cotton, R-Ark., called for a total boycott of the upcoming Olympics. Cotton spoke amid growing calls among lawmakers and activists to hold China accountable for human rights abuses, including mistreatment of Uighurs held in detention camps in Xinjiang.
Cotton cited China’s human rights record, as well as concerns regarding the safety of U.S. athletes. He argued authorities would be unable to fully protect American athletes from surveillance.
“For these reasons — the safety and security of our own athletes and China’s crimes against the world, we should launch a complete and total boycott of China’s genocide Olympics,” Cotton said.
“I regret that this would prevent about 300 of America’s world-class athletes from competing in the Olympics. I sympathize with them. However, they have been failed by this administration, who months ago, months ago, could have worked with our allies to develop a plan to conduct these games in another country,” he added.
President Biden said his administration was “considering” a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics, which would allow U.S. athletes to compete.
Cotton’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.