The United States is not sending diplomats to the Beijing Winter Olympics, the Biden administration announced this week. The administration said the diplomatic boycott is over human rights concerns. China responded Tuesday, saying the decision violates the spirit of the games.
China's foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters the United States is attempting to interfere with the Games "out of ideological prejudice and based on lies and rumors." Zhao added (via AP):
"[The boycott] seriously violates the principle of political neutrality of sports established by the Olympic Charter and runs counter to the Olympic motto 'more united' ... The U.S. will pay a price for its practices. You may stay tuned for follow-ups."
He said China would respond with "resolute countermeasures," with no further information on what those measures will be.
Zhao told the United States to "stop politicizing sports" and to stop, in his words, undermining the Olympics. He continued, saying, "otherwise it will undermine the dialogue and cooperation between the two countries in a series of important areas and international issues."
China called the boycott a "self-directed political farce."
The Chinese Embassy in Washington also responded, tweeting, "In fact, no one would care about whether these people come or not, and it has no impact whatsoever on the #Beijing2022 to be successfully held."
The Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection wrote a response titled, "The Spirit of the Olympic Charter Cannot be Tarnished."
"Some Western anti-China politicians [have shown a] defensive Cold War mentality aimed at politicizing sport," the website stated, saying the boycott was a "clear violation of the Olympic spirit and a challenge to all people who love the Olympic movement."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that the Biden administration supports all athletes competing in the winter Games, but they will not be sending diplomats or officials to the event. Psaki said the country has a "fundamental commitment to promoting human rights" and it "will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games."
China has been accused of abusing the rights of minorities and some rights groups have called for a total boycott of the Beijing Winter Games.