China warned today that the United States “will pay a price” after Washington announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, in protest of human rights abuses in the Asian country.
“The United States will pay a price for its wrongdoing,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian today, who also announced that Beijing has presented an official protest to Washington over the boycott.
On Monday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced that the US government will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Games for “the genocide and crimes against humanity that persist in (China’s northwestern region of) Xinjiang, as well as other human rights abuses “in China.
The Chinese government has repeatedly denied that these abuses exist and has also reiterated that they are nothing more than “a smear campaign.” “The United States is trying to disrupt the Games based on its ideological bias, lies and hearsay. But the boycott will only make people around the world see its sinister intentions even more clearly, and further erode its credibility and morality. “Zhao added.
Meanwhile, the official Global Times newspaper said this Monday through the social network Twitter that China breathes “relieved” after the announcement of the boycott: “The fewer US officials come, the less viruses they will bring,” reads one of its latest entries.
Start in February
The Winter Games will be held between February 4 and 20 in the Chinese capital, which already hosted the summer games in 2008.
Washington decided not to prohibit the participation of American athletes, something that would have been a complete boycott of the Games, because it does not want to “penalize” athletes who have been training for months or years to prepare for the Olympics.
The Chinese government indicated last week that it did not plan to invite US politicians to the event, although it said that the International Olympic Committee had the last word on that possibility.
On the sidelines, the spokesman for the State Department, Ned Price, recalled yesterday that this boycott is not the only step that his country has taken or will take in response to the crimes against humanity that, in his opinion, are being committed in China.
“When the United States speaks, when the United States takes action, the world listens,” said Price, who after recalling that this type of boycott is a sovereign decision that each country must take, acknowledged that his government hopes that others will follow suit. and make the same decision in the next few days.
So far, the only country that has joined the US initiative is New Zealand, which announced on Tuesday that it will not send diplomatic representatives to the Olympics either.
For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced today that he will attend the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which could be boycotted by the leaders of several Western countries.
“I plan to attend the inauguration,” Putin said during the VTB “Russia Calls” investment forum.
Although Russian officials cannot attend the Games due to the two-year sanction for state doping, Putin can attend if he is personally invited by the leaders of the organizing country, as is the case.