China warns US against boycott of Beijing Olympics

China warns US against boycott of Beijing Olympics

The Chinese government on Wednesday warned Washington not to boycott next year’s Olympic Winter Games in Beijing after the Biden administration said it was discussing with its allies a common approach to complaints of rights violations of man.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dismissed accusations of abuse against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. He warned of an unspecified “robust Chinese response” to a possible boycott of the Olympics.

“The politicization of sport will undermine the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the interests of athletes in all countries,” said spokesperson Zhao Lijian. “The international community, including the US Olympic Committee, will not accept it.”

Human rights groups are protesting against China’s hosting of the games, which are slated to begin in February 2022. They called for a boycott or other measures to draw attention to Chinese abuse accusations against Uyghurs, Tibetans and residents of Hong Kong.

The US State Department suggested an Olympic boycott was among the possibilities, but a senior official later said a boycott had not been discussed. The International Olympic Committee and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee have said in the past that they oppose boycotts.

This opposition was reiterated by Susanne Lyons, president of the board of directors of the American Olympic and Paralympic Committee, during a media summit on Wednesday.

“We at the USOPC oppose boycotting athletes because it has been shown to negatively impact athletes while not effectively addressing global issues in the past,” Lyons said. The committee does not wish to “downplay the serious human rights problems facing China,” but believes that diplomats and trade officials and other government officials are better equipped to address these concerns and that “Young athletes should be used as political pawns in these matters. Lyons said.

The boycotts also put “unfair pressure” on corporate sponsors who provide the bulk of financial support for athletes and sports programs over the long term, not just for specific events, she said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that the White House was not considering boycotting the 2022 Olympics.

“We have not discussed, and are not discussing, a joint boycott with our allies and partners,” she said.

When asked if the US government would discourage Americans from traveling to China, Psaki said that the Biden administration hopes that by the time of the event, “we are at a point where enough people across the countries and, hopefully, around the world have been vaccinated ”. against COVID-19.

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