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US announces diplomatic boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing; China threatens to retaliate

The Biden administration is expected to announce on Monday that U.S. government officials will not attend the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, a source familiar with the situation said Monday, confirming earlier reports by CNN and NBC.

December 07, 2021 / 08:07 AM IST
People wearing face masks following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak are seen near the lit-up Olympic rings at top of the Olympic Tower, a year ahead of the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, in Beijing, China February 4, 2021. (Image: Reuters)

People wearing face masks following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak are seen near the lit-up Olympic rings at top of the Olympic Tower, a year ahead of the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, in Beijing, China February 4, 2021. (Image: Reuters)

China will take "countermeasures" in protest against a planned U.S. diplomatic boycott of the Olympics if necessary, Beijing’s foreign ministry said.

The Biden administration is expected to announce on Monday that U.S. government officials will not attend the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, a source familiar with the situation said Monday, confirming earlier reports by CNN and NBC.

The diplomatic boycott, which has been encouraged by some members of the U.S. Congress for weeks, would not affect American athletes.

U.S. President Joe Biden said last month that he was considering such a diplomatic boycott to protest China’s human rights record, including what Washington says is genocide against minority Muslims.

The White House and State Department declined to comment.

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Those calling for a boycott are "grandstanding" and should stop "so as not to affect the dialogue and cooperation between China and the United States in important areas", said Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesman.

"If the U.S. insists in wilfully clinging to its course, China will take resolute countermeasures," he said at a news conference.
Reuters
first published: Dec 7, 2021 08:09 am

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