During a press conference on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian addressed a warning letter from US senators to the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee over the usage of digital yuan at the Olympic games next year.
According to the South China Morning Post, Lijian proposed that US policymakers should find out exactly what a digital yuan is, and further advised US lawmakers to “abide by the spirit stipulated in the Olympic Charter” and to “stop making sports a political matter and stop making problems out of the digital yuan.”
Zhao Lijian’s announcement came after Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn, Roger Wicker, and Cynthia Lummis recently urged the United States Olympic Committee to prohibit American athletes from using China’s digital yuan during the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Senators said that the Chinese Communist Party may use digital yuan to track visiting athletes once they return from China, claiming that the additional capabilities of digital yuan allow Chinese officials to “know the specific details of what someone purchased and where they acquired it.” Despite Chinese officials’ assurances that the token will be used only for domestic retail transactions, fears have been raised that it might undermine the US dollar’s dominance as the world’s primary reserve currency.
The People’s Bank of China has yet to confirm a timeline for the full implementation of the Digital Currency Electronic Payment, but it did confirm on Friday that 34.5 billion yuan (US$5.3 billion) had already been spent in 70.8 million transactions as part of the ongoing e-yuan trials over the last two years.
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