China pushes back ‘efforts to politicize sports’

Beijing says with or without ‘boycotting’ nations, ‘we will see success of Beijing Winter Olympics’.

ISTANBUL (AA) – In its attempts to withstand the “diplomatic boycott” of the Winter Olympics, China on Thursday called for the “depoliticization of sports.”

“Sports have nothing to do with politics,” said Wang Wenbin, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman.

“The Winter Olympic Games is not a stage for political posturing,” Wang said as Beijing is set to host the world’s biggest winter games next February.

The US, UK, Canada, and Australia have, however, said they will not send any officials to represent their nations at the opening ceremony of the games. The ban does not apply to their sportspersons.

Wang called on these countries to “demonstrate a more united Olympic spirit instead of undermining the Olympic cause,” Chinese public broadcaster CGTN reported.

“They will have to pay the price for this mistake,” he said, referring to the countries that will not send their officials to the Winter Olympics.

The spokesman tried to fend off any “ripple effect” due to the diplomatic offensive by the US and its allies.

“It’s not worth worrying whether there are ripple effects from individual countries,” Wang said. “We will see the success of the Games no matter whether their officials will come.”

He said many heads of state, government officials, and members of royal families have registered to attend the Beijing 2022.


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