China: UK, US, Australia to 'Pay Price' for 'Mistaken Acts' Of Diplomatic Boycott of Winter Olympics
13:31 GMT 09.12.2021 (Updated: 19:29 GMT 03.11.2022)
Earlier, the US announced it would not send an official delegation to the 2022 Winter Olympics, although athletes will be allowed to participate, due to alleged human rights violations by China in Xinjiang region. As countries like Australia and the UK followed suit, Beijing slammed the "fabricated" allegations.
“The United States, Britain and Australia have used the Olympics platform for political manipulation. They will have to pay the price for their mistaken acts,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson at the Chinese foreign ministry, was quoted as saying at a news conference on Thursday.
A growing number of Western countries have followed in Washington’s footsteps and backed calls for a government boycott of the event, set to be held from 4 - 20 February.
8 December 2021, 13:39 GMT
On 6 December the White House announced it would hold a diplomatic boycott of the games hosted by the People's Republic of China (PRC) by refusing to send any US government officials to the games.
"The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the PRC's ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses," said White House spokesperson. "
It was added that the athletes of the US Team would still have full support.
In further moves, the US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed three measures against China that ban imports from Xinjiang and condemn the alleged “ongoing genocide” in the region.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was cited by Reuters as saying a decision not to send officials to the Games was made because of difficulty in reopening diplomatic channels with China to discuss human rights in the region of Xinjiang, compounded by Beijing’s moves to block Australian imports.
France, however, will not boycott the event, according to Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer appearing on BFM TV.
“France will not do it... Sports is a world in itself, which must be protected from political interference, otherwise... we can end up by killing the competition,” he said.
The French presidency had earlier on Wednesday said in a statement that there would be a reaction to the issue at “European level”.
‘Politicisation of Sports’
China had earlier slammed Washington after its announcement of the boycott, saying the country would “pay a price”, with Chinese foreign ministry Zhao Lijian warning reporters to “stay tuned for follow-ups”.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin deplored the ongoing politicisation of sports and condemned US rhetoric as going against the spirit of the Olympic Charter.
China Blasts Morrison for 'Political Posturing' as Australia Joins US in Boycotting Beijing Olympics
8 December 2021, 05:59 GMT
China has consistently denied allegations by Western academics and politicians that its anti-radicalisation programs in western Xinjiang Autonomous Region amounted to human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority community residing there.
Furthermore, China released its own report, emphasising the dire state of human rights in the United States, where it lambasted "problems like money politics, identity politics, wrangling between political parties, political polarisation, social division, racial tension, and a wealth gap".