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Politicising sports hurts Olympic spirit, says China as US indicated at diplomatic boycott

"Politicizing sports is against the Olympic spirit and undermines the interests of athletes from all nations," said foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian during a press conference.

Politicising sports hurts Olympic spirit says China as US indicated at diplomatic boycott gcw
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Beijing, First Published Nov 19, 2021, 2:28 PM IST
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China's foreign ministry accused the US of breaking the "Olympic spirit" on Friday after President Joe Biden indicated he was considering a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics due to human rights violations. "Politicizing sports is against the Olympic spirit and undermines the interests of athletes from all nations," said foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian during a press conference.

President Joe Biden said Thursday that the United States is considering a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing to demonstrate firmness in the face of China's human rights violations while minimizing the impact on US athletes. That is "something we are examining," Biden said to reporters at the White House after meeting with Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. The Olympics will be held in Beijing in February of next year.

Biden's remarks came during a video meeting with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping late Monday, during which the two leaders stated their desire to guarantee stability and avoid unintentional tensions. However, Biden faces domestic pressure to speak out against China's human rights violations, particularly in Xinjiang, where the US government considers mistreatment of the Uyghur ethnic minority to be genocide.

Also Read | US President Biden announces considering diplomatic boycott of Winter Olympics in Beijing

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the Biden administration will soon announce a diplomatic boycott, which would imply that while athletes would still participate, government representatives would not be in attendance. According to White House sources, the subject was not mentioned during the virtual meeting between Biden and Xi. Under Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, US-Chinese ties reached an all-time low with an extensive trade war and a smouldering controversy over how the Covid-19 virus initially originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Biden has attempted to re-engage with Beijing while also concentrating on building old US relationships in order to offset China's expanding economic dominance and military presence in the Indo-Pacific area.

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