If the United States goes ahead with its diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games in February, China has promised to take “strong countermeasures.”
Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, accused US politicians of grandstanding over the subject of not sending dignitaries to events where China wishes to display its economic development and technological strength.
Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing that such an action would be a “outright political provocation,” but he didn’t say how China would respond.
President Joe Biden of the United States has announced he is considering a boycott, in which American athletes would still compete, and he is due to make a declaration this week. Supporters of such a move point to China’s dismal human rights record, claiming that the games are being used to cover up the country’s mistreatment of civil rights campaigners, political dissidents, and ethnic minorities.
“Despite the fact that they have not been invited, American politicians continue to hype the so-called diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which is nothing more than wishful thinking and grandstanding,” “At a daily briefing, Zhao told reporters.
“If the United States insists on pursuing its own way, China will respond with force,” “Zhao expressed his thoughts.
The United States and other prominent nations have traditionally sent high-level delegations to the Olympics – then-President George W. Bush attended the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Summer Games. Jill Biden, the first lady, led the American delegation to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this year, and Doug Emhoff, the second gentleman, led a mission to the Paralympic Games.
The threat of a diplomatic boycott comes as the US tries to calm down tense relations with Beijing, even as it maintains a harsh stance on trade disputes and disagreements over China’s actions on Taiwan, human rights, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea.
Beijing has reacted angrily to every US criticism, dismissing it as meddling in its domestic affairs and imposing visa bans on American lawmakers it considers to be anti-China.
It was unclear who the US might have sent to Beijing for the games, and Zhao’s comments appeared to imply that no invites had been offered.
Australia, whose relations with China have deteriorated due to a slew of disagreements, has also suggested a diplomatic boycott.
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