Beijing vows ‘countermeasures’ as US says it will not send diplomatic or official representation to games set for February.
ISTANBUL (AA) – China on Tuesday accused the US of “trying to disrupt” the Beijing Winter Olympics after Washington said it will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the games set for next February.
“The US is trying to disrupt the Beijing Winter Olympics out of its ideological bias, lies, and rumors,” Zhao Lijian, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, told a news conference in Beijing.
“China will take firm countermeasures,” Zhao said, according to Chinese daily Global Times.
On Monday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US will not send any diplomatic or official representations to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics or Paralympics.
Announcing the decision at a news conference, Psaki cited “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”
She said the athletes on Team USA have the Joe Biden administration’s “full support” behind them.
“US diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual, in the face of the [People’s Republic of China] PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang,” said Psaki.
In Xinjiang, ethnic Uyghur Muslims have been subjected to years of abuse of their identity and culture.
According to UN data, at least 1 million Uyghurs are kept against their will in places Beijing calls “vocational training centers” but which critics call places for indoctrination, abuse, and torture.
Several countries have accused China of committing genocide against Uyghurs. Beijing has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the allegations as “lies and (a) political virus.”
On Nov. 18, Biden said that a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in China is “something we’re considering.”
Several US lawmakers and human rights advocates have repeatedly called for a boycott of the 2022 Games.