BEIJING (AP) – China’s government warned Washington on Wednesday not to boycott next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing after the Biden administration said it was talking to allies about a joint approach. to complaints of human rights abuses.
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry rejected allegations of abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. He warned of an unspecified “strong Chinese response” to a possible boycott of the Olympics.
“The politicization of sports will damage the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the interests of athletes in all countries,” said the spokesman, Zhao Lijian. “The international community, including the United States Olympic Committee, will not accept it.”
Human rights groups are protesting the organization of the games in China, which will begin in February 2022. They have urged a boycott or other measures to draw attention to allegations of Chinese abuses against Uighurs, Tibetans and Hong Kong residents.
The US State Department suggested that an Olympic boycott was among the possibilities, but a senior official later said that a boycott had not been discussed. The International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee have said in the past that they oppose boycotts.