China warns Washington not to boycott Winter Olympics

2020 Tokyo Olympics postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

BEIJING — 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 with allies about a joint approach to complaints of human rights abuses.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson rejected accusations of abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. He warned of an unspecified “robust Chinese response” to a potential Olympics boycott.

Anti-coup protesters hold slogans against China during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Protesters continue to hold daily demonstrations in some parts of Myanmar despite threats from government forces of arrest and dispersal as they rally against the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. (AP Photo)
Anti-coup protesters hold slogans against China during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Protesters continue to hold daily demonstrations in some parts of Myanmar despite threats from government forces of arrest and dispersal as they rally against the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. (AP Photo)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

“The politicization of sports will damage the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the interests of athletes from all countries,” said the spokesperson, Zhao Lijian. “The international community including the U.S. Olympic Committee will not accept it.”

Chinese attendants dressed in winter costumes rehearse the award ceremony of the men's 500-meter race during a test event for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing. The organizers of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics has started 10 days of testing for several sport events in five different indoor venues from April 1-10, becoming the first city to hold the Winter and Summer Olympics. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Chinese attendants dressed in winter costumes rehearse the award ceremony of the men's 500-meter race during a test event for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing. The organizers of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics has started 10 days of testing for several sport events in five different indoor venues from April 1-10, becoming the first city to hold the Winter and Summer Olympics. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Credit: Andy Wong

Credit: Andy Wong

Human rights groups are protesting China’s hosting of the games, due to start in February 2022. They have urged a boycott or other measures to call attention to accusations of Chinese abuses against Uyghurs, Tibetans and residents of Hong Kong.

The U.S. State Department suggested an Olympic boycott was among the possibilities but a senior official said later a boycott has not been discussed. The International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee have said in the past they oppose boycotts.

In Other News