China threatens retaliation against those who join Beijing 2022 boycott

Beijing, Dec 9 (EFE).- China threatened retaliation Thursday against those who join the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics started this week by the United States and followed by Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

“Sport has nothing to do with politics. The Winter Olympics is not a place for political posturing. Those who have joined in this mistake (in reference to the boycott) are going to have to pay a price for it,” Foreign spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press conference.

The spokesman said those countries should “demonstrate” Olympic spirit rather than “undermine the Olympic cause.”

Britain and Canada said Wednesday they were joining a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics over what they see as human rights violations perpetrated by Chinese authorities.

The boycott of these countries is diplomatic, so they will send athletes to the event, scheduled between Feb. 4 and Feb. 20.

New Zealand said Tuesday it would also not send any diplomatic representation to the games, although it justified its decision on health security reasons as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki began the boycott Monday by announcing the US would not send diplomatic or official representation to the games for “the genocide and crimes against humanity that persist in (China’s northwest region of) Xinjiang, as well as other human rights abuses” in China.

China condemned the US decision Tuesday, warning it “will pay a price” for it.

The International Olympic Committee said Tuesday it “understands and respects” the decision made by the US, adding that its first objective is to have “the best athletes in the world” present in competition. EFE


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