China slammed the United States' intentions to organize a diplomatic boycott of the 24th Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022, after warning against politicizing sports.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian described Washington's charges of abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region as a slander campaign and emphasized the country's zero-tolerance for involvement in its internal affairs.
“The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are a showcase for athletes from all over the world. Politicizing sports is against the Olympic spirit and harms the interests of athletes,” the official added.
Zhao responded after US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he is considering a “diplomatic boycott” of the winter event.
The action would explicitly imply that Biden and other US Government officials would not attend the multi-sport event, as is common in such championships, but the US would send athletes, as per The Hill.
China is preparing to host the Winter Olympics in February 2022, followed by the Winter Paralympics in March, becoming the first city in the world to hold both a summer and winter version of the Olympic Games after hosting the Summer Olympic Games in 2008.