The U.S. announced on Monday (local time) a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics to be held in February. It was a diplomatic measure based on the judgment that defined the Chinese authorities’ crimes against humanity in Xinjiang as genocide. While New Zealand and others announced to join the boycott despite China’s open warning for countermeasures, the South Korean government is leaning to sending an Olympics diplomatic mission.
“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday. While athletes will travel to China, an official mission consisting of high-ranking government and political figures will not be sent to the opening and closing ceremonies. The press secretary said that genocide and crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses are ongoing in Xinjiang. “We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games,” she said.
The Biden administration practically asked its allies to join the boycott. State Department spokesman Ned Price said they will hear from more countries to join the boycott. New Zealand announced on Tuesday that its senior government representation will not be sent to the Beijing Olympics. The U.K., Australia, and Canada are expected to follow suit.
China strongly opposed and warned firm countermeasures. “Politicians calling for boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics are doing so for their own political interests and posturing. It has no impact whatsoever on the Beijing 2022 to be successfully held,” Liu Pengyu, the spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in the U.S., said on Tuesday. “China will take resolute countermeasures against the U.S.’s dogmatic actions,” Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said during a regular briefing on Monday.