The Chinese government warned the United States on Wednesday not to resist the Winter Olympics scheduled to be held in Beijing next year.
Before issuing the warning, the administration of US President Joe Biden mentioned that it was discussing a joint position with allies on China’s alleged human rights violations.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected allegations of abuse of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. He warned that if the Olympics were boycotted, there would be “a strong reaction from China.”
However, he did not specify what the reaction would consist of.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said: “The politicization of sports will harm the Olympic spirit and the interests of athletes from all countries.” “The international community, including the US Olympic Committee, will not accept it.”
Human rights groups protested China’s choice to host the Olympic Games starting in February 2022. They called for boycotts and other measures to draw attention to China’s abuse of Uighurs, Tibetans and Hong Kong residents.
The State Department’s proposal to boycott is one of the possible measures, but a prominent official later stated that this possibility had not been discussed. The International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee have previously opposed boycotts.
Susan Lyons, chairman of the board of directors of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), reiterated her opposition to the press on Wednesday.
Lyon said: “USOPC opposes boycotts of athletes because it turns out that boycotts have a negative impact on athletes, and in the past they did not lead to effective solutions to global problems.”
He added that USOPC does not want to “minimize the serious human rights issues that have arisen in China,” but he believes that diplomats, trade officials and other fields have better tools to solve these problems.
Lyon said: “On these issues, young athletes should not be used as political pawns.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki emphasized on Wednesday that the Biden administration is not seeking to boycott the 2022 Olympics.
He warned: “We have not discussed it and will not discuss boycotts with allies and partners.”