The US boycott of the Winter Olympics is ‘based on lies and rumours,’ says China
The US was attempting to interfere with the Beijing Winter Olympics “out of ideological prejudice and based on lies and rumours,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters on Tuesday.
Mr Zhao added that 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.’”
“The US will pay a price for its practices. You may stay tuned for follow-ups,” he added and reiterated his statement from Monday, in which he said that China will respond with “firm countermeasures.”
Mr Zhao did not give any detail about what those countermeasures were.
The response to the US announcement of its boycott has been met with harsh declarations from several other quarters in China as well.
The Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection issued a long article against the boycott on its website, called “The Spirit of the Olympic Charter Cannot be Tarnished,” reported the Associated Press.
The article pointed to “some Western anti-China politicians” who showed a “Cold War mentality” against sport, noting that this was a “clear violation of the Olympic spirit and a challenge to all people who love the Olympic movement.”
Another statement from the Chinese embassy in Washington on Tuesday said those calling for a boycott were “doing so for their own political interests and posturing”.
"En réalité, no one would care about whether these people come or not, and it has no impact whatsoever on the [Beijing Winter Olympics] to be successfully held," Ça disait.
China’s mission in the UN also lashed out and dubbed the boycott a “self-directed political farce.”
“The US just wants to politicise sports, create divisions and provoke confrontation," Ça disait.
Plus tôt lundi, China had warned of firm countermeasures in a statement.
“Without being invited, American politicians keep hyping the so-called diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which is purely wishful thinking and grandstanding,” Mr Zhao had said.
“If the US side is bent on going its own way, China will take firm countermeasures," il ajouta.
Le lundi, les Biden administration announced that no US government official would be attending the global sporting event to be held in China in February next year.
“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, given [China’s] ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, and other human rights abuses,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Ms Psaki was referring to widely reported crimes that the international community alleges are being perpetrated by the Chinese government against the Uyghur muslim minority community in the Xinjiang region.
The American boycott comes amid a global chorus for a diplomatic boycott of the games. The move is intended at sending a message to China while allowing US athletes to participate.
“The athletes on Team USA have our full support,” added Ms Psaki.
It is not clear whether other countries will follow in US in boycotting the Beijing Olympics in protest against the country’s alleged human rights violations.
Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday said the country would make its own decision “from the perspective of national interests.”