China has now warned the U.S. not to boycott the Olympics after the Biden administration said Monday that it is considering joining allies and sitting out the 2022 winter games.
The 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled for February in Beijing. The U.S. and other nations have grown increasingly concerned with the horrific human rights abuses taking place in the Chinese region of Xinjiang. The Chinese government is now also said to be torturing Christians who refuse to renounce their faith.
A Foreign Ministry spokesperson rejected accusations of abuses against ethnic minorities in China and threatened an unspecified “robust Chinese response” to a potential Olympics boycott.
“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.”
Human rights groups throughout the world have protested China’s hosting of the games.
“It [a joint boycott] is something that we certainly wish to discuss,” State spokesman Ned Price told reporters when asked about the Biden administration’s plans ahead of the international games. “A coordinated approach will not only be in our interest but also in the interest of our allies and partners.”
Price indicated no firm decision has been made, but support for an allied boycott appear to be growing.