China warns countries announcing diplomatic boycott of Winter Olympics


China has warned countries which have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, saying they “will pay the price for their mistaken acts”, the BBC reported.

Beijing is scheduled to host the Winter Olympics from February 4-20 next year.

The US, the UK, Australia and Canada will not send government representatives to the Games because of concerns over China’s human rights records, including widespread allegations of abuse against the Uyghur minority group.

France, host of the next Summer Games, said it would not join the boycott, the report said.

“The United States, Britain and Australia have used the Olympics platform for political manipulation,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson in the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Chinese state media claimed on Wednesday that Beijing “never planned to invite the US and Western politicians who hype the ‘boycott’ topic”.

The US was the first country to announce a diplomatic boycott, with Australia, Canada and the UK following suit.

The move by these countries stops short of preventing the athletes from attending the Games — something which has been welcomed by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

“The presence of government officials is a political decision for each government so the principle of IOC neutrality applies,” Bach said.

Relations between the boycotting nations and China have been tense in recent years, the report added.


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