China says US diplomatic boycott violates Olympic spirit

China on Tuesday accused the United States of violating Olympic spirit by announcing a US diplomatic boycott of February’s Beijing Winter Games. The comments by Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian came amid Chinese criticism of the announcement by the Biden administration on Monday. Zhao vowed on Monday that China would retaliate strongly, but gave no details.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that the administration would fully support American athletes participating in the Games but would not send US diplomats or officials to attend.

Saki said the United States has a fundamental commitment to the promotion of human rights and that the United States will not contribute to the pomp of the Games.

The Chinese embassy in Washington tweeted that politicians who called for the boycott were doing so for their political interests and pretense.

In fact, no one will care whether these people come or not, and it has no bearing on the successful #Beijing2022 event,” the embassy said.

China’s mission to the United Nations called the boycott a self-directed political farce.”

America only wants to politicize sports, create division and provoke conflict.

It was unclear what officials Washington would have sent, and Zhao said on Monday that there had been no invitation by China.

It was unclear whether other countries would follow the US lead. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday that Japan would take its decision from the perspective of national interests, taking into account the importance of the Olympic Games and the importance of Japan’s diplomacy. This is the basic vision of our country.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said it was unclear what the diplomatic boycott meant and that a decision on officials to join would be made at an appropriate time after taking a comprehensive look at various circumstances.

Matsuno said that in any case, Japan expects the Beijing Winter Games to be held as a celebration of peace in line with the principles of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sending high-level delegations to each Olympics has long been a tradition between the US and other major nations. Then-President George W. Bush attended the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Summer Games. First lady Jill Biden led the US contingent at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this year, and second gentleman Doug Emhoff led a delegation to the Paralympic Games.

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