US announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Those calling for a boycott are “grandstanding” and should stop “so as not to affect the dialogue and cooperation between China and the United States in important areas,” Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, earlier said.
US president Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping (File Photo / AP)
US president Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping (File Photo / AP)
Updated on Dec 07, 2021 08:29 AM IST
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The Biden administration announced on Monday that US officials will not attend the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing after China pledged unspecified “countermeasures” against any such diplomatic boycott.

Those calling for a boycott are “grandstanding” and should stop “so as not to affect the dialogue and cooperation between China and the United States in important areas,” Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, earlier said. “If the US insists in wilfully clinging to its course, China will take resolute countermeasures,” he said at a news conference.

US President Joe Biden said last month that he was considering such a diplomatic boycott to protest China’s human rights record, including what Washington says is genocide against minority Muslims.

The US boycott would not prevent its athletes from competing in the games. The US is next due to host an Olympics in 2028 in Los Angeles, raising the question of how China might respond in the interim. Beijing says it opposes the politicisation of sports, but it has punished American sports leagues in the past, including the National Basketball Association, for running afoul of its political red lines.

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