China threatened on Monday to take “firm countermeasures” if the United States diplomatically boycotted the Beijing Winter Olympics in February.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused US politicians of demagoguery on the issue of not sending dignitaries to attend events that China hopes will enhance its economic development and technological prowess.
Speaking to reporters at a daily briefing, Zhao said such a move would be an “outright political provocation,” but gave no details on how China would retaliate.
US President Joe Biden has said he is considering a boycott, under which US athletes will continue to compete, and an announcement is expected this week. Supporters of such a move cite China’s poor human rights record as justification, claiming that China is using gambling to whitewash its mistreatment of civil rights activists, political dissidents and ethnic minorities.
“Uninvited, US politicians continue to tout the so-called diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which is purely wishful thinking and demagoguery,” Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing. .
“If the US side is determined to go its own way, China will take strong countermeasures,” Zhao said.
Senator Tom Cotton said Thursday he is calling for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.
Sending high-level delegations to each Olympics has long been a tradition among the United States and other leading nations – then President George W. Bush attended the opening of the Olympics. from Beijing in 2008. First Lady Jill Biden led the US contingent to the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year and Second Mr. Doug Emhoff led a delegation to the Paralympic Games.
The possibility of a diplomatic boycott comes as the United States attempts to stabilize turbulent relations with Beijing, even as it maintains a firm stance towards trade friction and disputes over China’s actions in Taiwan, China’s rights. man, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.
Beijing has organized a firm response to all US criticism, denouncing it as interference in its internal affairs and imposing visa bans on US politicians it considers anti-Chinese.
It was not clear who the United States could have sent Beijing for the games, and Zhao’s comments seemed to indicate that China had not issued any invitations.
Australia, whose ties with China have collapsed over a series of disputes, also raised the possibility of a diplomatic boycott.
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