The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday warned that the U.S. will “pay a price” for its decision to carry out a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.
“The U.S. is standing opposed to athletes and sports lovers across the world,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said. “The Olympics are not a stage for political stances or political manipulation.”
“The U.S. will pay a price for its wrong practices,” he added during a regular press briefing in Beijing.
He did not clarify what actions China plans to take but noted that China has lodged its complaint with American diplomats.
The comments come one day after White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that the U.S. government delegation will boycott the Olympic Games over the Chinese government’s human rights abuses, including the presumed suppression of tennis star Peng Shuai.
“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses. The athletes on team USA have our full support. We will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home. We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games,” Psaki said.
She said American competitors will participate in the games without U.S. government presence.
Zhao said Monday that the decision “severely tarnishes the spirit of the Olympic Charter,” calling it a “naked political provocation” and “a serious offense to 1.4 billion Chinese people.”
Meanwhile, officials in Canada and Australia are also weighing whether to attend the event.