In a furious response to the US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, China said on Tuesday that Washington will “pay the price” for its actions. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a news conference that the boycott by the US is a “serious violation” of the pure principle of political neutrality of sports enshrined in the Olympic Charter and goes against the Olympic motto ‘more united’.
As tensions between the US and China continue to escalate, the White House has confirmed that the Joe Biden administration has agreed to a full diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, meaning US delegations will not accompany US players at the sporting event. which will take place in February. Zhao told reporters at a regular news conference that the US is trying to meddle in the Beijing Winter Olympics “out of ideological bias, lies and rumours.”
Zhao said the boycott is “a serious violation of the principle of political neutrality of sports enshrined in the Olympic Charter and in violation of the Olympic motto of ‘more united’.”
Zhao said, “The US will pay a price for its practices. You can stay tuned for follow-ups.”
China warned of ‘strong countermeasures’
Earlier on Monday, Zhao promised China would respond with “firm countermeasures,” but did not provide additional details. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during the announcement that the decision was made after considering the “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights violations”. She added: “The athletes of Team USA have our full support.”
However, China has rejected the US move. In a statement to the news agency Sputnik, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, Liu Pengyu said America’s diplomatic boycott was both a “political manipulation” and a serious distortion of the spirit of the Olympic Charter. Liu also added that it would not affect the success of the Games.
Sending high-level delegations to each Olympics is a longstanding tradition in both the United States and other leading countries. Then-US President George W. Bush had even attended the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. US First Lady Jill Biden led the delegation to the Tokyo Summer Olympics earlier this year, while Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff led a delegation to the Paralympic Games.