Breitbart reports that China, on Wednesday, warned the Biden administration that there would be a “robust Chinese response” if the United States and its allies decide to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympic games, which are scheduled to be held in China.
“The politicization of sports will damage the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the interests of athletes from all countries,” Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, said in a statement. “The international community including the U.S. Olympic Committee will not accept it.”
As is typically the case when China makes threats, it did not specify what this “robust” response might include.
China’s warning to the Biden administration came in response to a report from the Associated Press indicating that such a boycott was a possibility.
“The State Department said Tuesday the Biden administration is consulting with allies about a joint approach to China and its human rights record, including how to handle the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics,” the outlet reported.
The Associated Press went on to quote Ned Price, a spokesperson for Biden’s State Department, as saying, “part of our review of those Olympics and our thinking will involve close consultations with partners and allies around the world.”
“These Games remain some time away,” he added. “I wouldn’t want to put a timeframe on it, but these discussions are underway. It is something that we certainly wish to discuss and it is certainly something that we understand that a coordinated approach will be not only in our interest, but also in the interest of our allies and partners. So this is one of the issues that is on the agenda, both now and going forward.”
This report led to speculation that the United States and its allies were considering boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Many argue that this would be an appropriate step considering the alleged human rights abuses committed by China against the Uyghurs, among others.
The Biden administration responds
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked by reporters about the matter on Wednesday.
“We have not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners,” Psaki said.
She added, “there’s no discussion underway of a change in our plans regarding the Beijing Olympics from the United States point of view.”