Tokyo 2020: All you need to know ahead of Olympic Games
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Responding to the USA’s announcement of the boycott, the Chinese Foreign Ministry hit out at the country for trying to “disrupt” the games, warning that it “will pay a price for its mistakes”
The White House confirmed yesterday that it will stage a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, as a protest against “crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”
Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: “The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.
“The athletes on Team USA have our full support.
“We will be behind them 100% as we cheer them on from home.
“We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games.”
On Tuesday, New Zealand threw its weight behind the US, with Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson confirming that the country would not send diplomatic representatives at a ministerial level.
Mr Robertson cited Covid-19 as the primary reason but added: “we’ve made clear to China on numerous occasions our concerns about human rights issues.”
Earlier, Chinese officials dismissed the boycott as “posturing and political manipulation”, claiming that US diplomats had not even been invited to Beijing in the first place.
Liu Xiaoming, the former Chinese ambassador to the UK, said the Olympics were “not a stage for political posturing and manipulation”.
He added: “US politicians keep hyping a ‘diplomatic boycott’ without even being invited to the Games.
“This wishful thinking and pure grandstanding is aimed at political manipulation,” he said.
“It is a grave travesty of the spirit of the Olympic Charter, a blatant political provocation and a serious affront to the 1.4 billion Chinese people.
“It will only make the Chinese people and the world see clearly US politicians’ anti-China nature and hypocrisy.”
Meanwhile, China’s embassy in Washington dismissed the boycott as “a pretentious act” and a “political manipulation”.
Earlier on Monday, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, threatened unspecified “resolute countermeasures” if a boycott was announced.
He also accused Washington of “hyping a ‘diplomatic boycott’ without even being invited to the Games”.
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