BEIJING, December 7. /TASS/. China will take decisive measures in the wake of the US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian told a briefing on Tuesday.
"The US actions seriously violate the principle of political neutrality regarding athletics and sports established by the Olympic Charter," he pointed out. "Beijing expresses its strong discontent and firm protest to the US, and has already submitted an official reprimand, in addition, it [Beijing] will take decisive countermeasures," the diplomat stressed.
He stayed tight-lipped on which measures would be implemented. "The US will pay a price for their erroneous actions, keep an eye out for the information," Zhao Lijian noted.
The diplomat stressed that the Winter Olympic Games is not "a stage for political shows or schemes." According to him, the US debated sending or not sending officials to the Olympics because of so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang. Zhao Lijian blasted the move, saying it distorted the facts and was nothing more than self-deception. Washington’s political stance won’t garner any support and is doomed to fail. He also stressed that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is a solemn occasion for athletes and sports fans throughout the world, they will be the main actors of this event.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that the US had decided to stage a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Olympics in China. That said, she clarified that this did not apply to the US athletes who can take part in the Games.
Calls for boycotting the Olympics in Beijing were earlier voiced by politicians from Canada, Norway, and the United States as well as by representatives of about 200 human rights organizations around the globe. The reason behind the demand for the boycott regards China’s alleged mass repressions of ethnic Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The 24th Winter Olympic Games will run in Beijing from February 4 to 20, 2022, and the Paralympic Games from March 4 to 13.