The White House stated that no official delegation would be sent to the Games because of concerns about China’s human rights record. However, it stated that US athletes could attend and would have the government’s full support. China has called Washington’s move a “self-directed political farce.”
A statement by the spokesperson of the Chinese Mission to the UN said, “The US just wants to politicize sports, create divisions and provide confrontation. The success of the Games does not rely on the attendance of a handful of countries’ government officials.” Earlier, anticipating the announcement, Beijing stated that it would take “resolute countermeasures” against such a boycott.
On Monday, the White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the boycott stating that the administration would not contribute to the “fanfare” of the Olympics. She stated, “US diplomatic or officials representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang. We simply cannot do that.”
Ms Psaki added that the US government did not feel “it was the right step to penalise athletes who had been training for this moment,” but that not sending an official US delegation to the 2022 Games “could send a clear message.” Following the US announcement, New Zealand stated on Tuesday that it too would not send a delegation. Other countries, including the UK and Australia, are stated to be considering boycotts.
On Tuesday, China stated that the United States will have to “pay a price” for its diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics Beijing just weeks after talks aimed at easing tense relations between the two sides. The White House stated on Monday that the US government officials will boycott the Winter Olympics because of China’s human rights “atrocities” although US athletes were free to travel there to compete.
The US boycott, encouraged for months by some members of Congress and rights advocacy groups, comes despite an effort to stabilise ties with a video meeting last month between US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told that China opposes the boycott and would take “resolute countermeasures”. He stated, “The United States will pay a price for its mistaken acts. Let’s all wait and see.”