The Chinese authorities have warned that the US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics could harm bilateral dialogue and cooperation in important areas. They also called for the policy to be “kept out of sport”. The White House announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics over China’s human rights violations.
China opposes the boycott and will take “decisive countermeasures”, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian warned during a meeting with journalists on Tuesday.
The US “conspiracy” to disrupt the Olympics is doomed to failure, leading to the loss of “moral authority and credibility,” added Zhao, quoted by Reuters. A representative of the Beijing Ministry of Foreign Affairs also called on the US to stop “introducing politics into sport”. He also added that the boycott was against Olympic rules.
Boycott on the grounds of human rights violations
The White House announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics due to human rights violations by China. “ No official from the administration will take part in the Beijing Winter Olympics and the 2022 Paralympics, given the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights violations, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday.
When asked about the announcement of a counter-sanction from China, Psaki said that, in the administration’s opinion, cooperation on transnational issues with the PRC “is not a favor for the US by China.” Psaki said Beijing had been informed in advance of Washington’s decision.
The decision is related to the systematic persecution of the Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region of western China, including with the mass confinement of people in “re-education” camps and a policy to reduce the fertility of Uyghur women. According to the US, these practices constitute genocide.
Main photo source: ROMAN PILIPEY / PAP / EPA