The US government is expected this week to confirm a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games. In practice, US athletes will be able to compete normally, but no political representative of the country will attend the event. This move will be in response to allegations of human rights violations in China.
Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry – Photo: Getty Images
The proposal was considered for several months after allegations that citizens of China’s Muslim ethnic Uyghur minority were held in forced labor camps. Last month, Joe Biden’s government confirmed for the first time that some measures were under consideration.
But the Chinese authorities did not welcome signs of a possible diplomatic boycott. In comments published by Reuters, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian threatened retaliation.
– If the United States insists on maintaining this course, China will take strict countermeasures, said Lijian, adding that the adjustment of the situation would be ideal “so as not to affect the dialogue and cooperation between China and the United States in important areas.”
Beijing Winter Games Stadium closed to foreign reporters – Image: Getty Images
The Winter Games will be held in Beijing from February 4 to 22. With this event, the Chinese capital will be the first city to host the Summer and Winter Olympics. The Chinese hosted the Summer Games in 2008.
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