China Asserts US ‘will Pay Price’ For Diplomatic Boycott Of Beijing Olympics

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian takes a question at the daily media briefing in Beijing on April 8, 2020. (Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP) (Photo by GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

republicworld– In a furious reaction to the US’ diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, China on Tuesday stated that Washington “will pay the price” for its moves. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian in a press briefing said that the US boycott ‘seriously violates’ the sheer principle of political neutrality of sports which is established by the Olympic Charter and runs against the Olympic motto, ‘more united’.

As US-China tensions continue to escalate, the White House confirmed that the Joe Biden administration has decided a complete diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics meaning American delegations will not be accompanying the US players in the sporting event slated to take place in February. Zhao told the reporters at a regular press briefing that the US is attempting to interfere with the Beijing winter Olympics “out of ideological prejudice and based on lies and rumours.”

China warned of ‘firm countermeasures’

Earlier, on Monday, Zhao had pledged that China would respond by ‘firm countermeasures,’ but did not provide any additional details. White House press secretary Jen Psaki, while making the announcement, said that the decision was taken after considering the “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, and other human rights abuses.” She further added, “The athletes on Team USA have our full support.”

However, China has censured the US’ move. In a statement to news agency Sputnik, a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Washington, Liu Pengyu said that America’s diplomatic boycott was a ‘political manipulation’ as well as a grave distortion of the spirit of the Olympic Charter. Liu also added that it would have no impact on the success of the Games.

Dispatching high-level delegations to each Olympics has been a long-standing tradition among the United States as well as other leading nations. Then-US President George W Bush had even attended the 2008 Beijing Olympic Summer Games. US First Lady Jill Biden had led the delegation to Summer Olympics in Tokyo that took place earlier this year while Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff led a delegation to the Paralympic Games.