China on back foot over potential boycott of Beijing Winter Games

Beijing: The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said that boycotting the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing would go against the spirit of the Olympic Charter after the United States hinted at the idea of discussing with its partner a possible boycott of the upcoming games.

Responding to question on US boycott of 2022 Winter Games, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “As to the so-called rhetoric about boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, I would also like to stress that politicisation of sports runs counter to the spirit of the Olympic Charter and harms the interests of all athletes as well as the international Olympic cause.

The international community, including the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, will not buy it, Lijian added.

The remark by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson comes after US State Department Spokesman Ned Price on Tuesday said that the United States planned to discuss the possibility of a boycott of the Winter Olympic Games with its partners.

Asked if Washington is consulting with allies about a joint plan to boycott the Winter Olympics, Price said, “…Department of State, as part of our thinking on the Beijing Olympics, is engaging with partners, with allies to coordinate – coordinate closely on decisions and approaches to the government in Beijing.”

Price further said the United States and its partners are coordinating on all of these issues of concern, and, of course, the Beijing Olympics is an area that they will continue to discuss.

A number of Western human rights organizations have called on their governments to boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing to protest alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region, Sputnik reported.

The Winter Olympics in 2022 is slated to be held between February 4 and 20 in Beijing.