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Home » World » China Issues Warning To US Over Beijing Olympics Boycott, Says ‘Will Have To Pay A Price’

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China Issues Warning To US Over Beijing Olympics Boycott, Says ‘Will Have To Pay A Price’

China Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the US is attempting to interfere with the Beijing Winter Olympics “out of ideological prejudice and based on lies and rumours”.

US announces diplomatic boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing
The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing from Feb 4, 2022. (Image: File)

Beijing: China on Tuesday accused the United States of violating the Olympic spirit by announcing an American diplomatic boycott of February’s Beijing Winter Games, amid an increasingly bitter feud over the Biden administration’s decision not to send officials over human rights concerns.

The US is attempting to interfere with the Beijing Winter Olympics “out of ideological prejudice and based on lies and rumours,” foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters at a daily briefing.

The boycott “seriously violates the principle of political neutrality of sports established by the Olympic Charter and runs counter to the Olympic motto more united,’” Zhao said.

As he did the previous day, Zhao vowed that China would respond with “resolute countermeasures” but offered no details.

“The US will pay a price for its practices. You may stay tuned for follow-ups,” Zhao said. His comments came amid a barrage of Chinese criticism of the announcement by the Biden administration on Monday.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that the administration will fully support US athletes competing at the games but won’t dispatch US diplomats or officials to attend.

Psaki said that the US has a “fundamental commitment to promoting human rights” and that the US “will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games”.

The diplomatic boycott comes as the US attempts to stabilise turbulent relations with Beijing, even as it maintains a tough approach toward trade and conflicts over China’s actions on Taiwan, Hong Kong, the South China Sea and the treatment of ethnic minorities, particularly Muslim Uyghurs.

Beijing has counterattacked against US criticisms and punitive sanctions, denouncing them as interference in its internal affairs and slapping visa bans on American politicians it regards as anti-China.

Zhao called on the US to “stop politicising sports” and what he said were actions undermining the Beijing Winter Olympics, “otherwise it will undermine the dialogue and cooperation between the two countries in a series of important areas and international issues”.

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The Chinese Embassy in Washington tweeted that politicians calling for a boycott are “doing so for their own political interests and posturing”.

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China’s mission to the United Nations called the boycott a “self-directed political farce”.

Even the ruling Communist Party’s notoriously opaque Central Commission for Discipline Inspection issued a response in the form of a lengthy screed on its website entitled “The Spirit of the Olympic Charter Cannot be Tarnished”.

“Some Western anti-China politicians” have shown a “defensive Cold War mentality aimed at politicising sport,” the article said, calling that a “clear violation of the Olympic spirit and a challenge to all people who love the Olympic movement”.

Other major countries have yet to say if they will follow the US lead. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday said Japan would make its own decision “from the perspective of national interests, taking into consideration the significance of the Olympic Games and the significance of Japan’s diplomacy. This is the basic attitude of our country”.

The dispatching of high-level delegations to each Olympics has long been a tradition among the US and other leading nations. Then-President George W Bush attended the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Summer Games. First lady Jill Biden led the American contingent to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this year and second gentleman Doug Emhoff led a delegation to the Paralympic Games.

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