China yesterday threatened to take “firm countermeasures” if the U.S. proceeds with a diplomatic boycott of February’s Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian accused U.S. politicians of grandstanding over the issue of not sending dignitaries to attend the events that China hopes will showcase its economic development and technological prowess.
Speaking to reporters at a daily briefing, Zhao said such a move would be an “outright political provocation,” but gave no details on how China would retaliate.
U.S. President Joe Biden has said he is considering a boycott, under which American athletes would still compete, and an announcement is expected this week. Supporters of such a step cite China’s poor record on human rights as justification, saying China is using the games to whitewash its ill treatment of civil rights activists, political dissidents and ethnic minorities.
“Without being invited, American politicians keep hyping the so-called diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic, which is purely wishful thinking and grandstanding,” Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing.
“If the U.S. side is bent on going its own way, China will take firm countermeasures,” Zhao said.