China has said that the United States, United Kingdom and Australia will pay the price for their “mistaken acts” after deciding not to send government delegations to February’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, on Thursday said, “The United States, Britain and Australia have used the Olympics platform for political manipulation.
The countries that have announced boycotts are still allowing their athletes to compete at the games, according to Sky News.
China’s response follows Australia and Britain joining the US after it decided to hold back its diplomats and officials from the Olympics due to “egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang”.
On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed legislation to ban imports from the region over concerns about forced labour.
China has repeatedly denied human rights abuses against the Uyghur population but there have been claims of torture and deaths inside the notorious re-education centres.
Confirming Australia’s diplomatic boycott just days after the US announcement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison raised strained diplomatic relations with Beijing.
He said Australia had struggled to reopen diplomatic channels with China to discuss alleged human rights abuses in the far Western region of Xinjiang and Beijing’s moves against Australian imports.
Wenbin accused Australia of “blindly following” the US, adding, “Whether they come or not, nobody cares.”
The case of tennis player, Peng Shuai, who made sexual assault claims against a former senior Chinese official, has brought added focus to the country’s record on human rights.
The Winter Olympics will be held in and around Beijing and locations in neighbouring Hebei province from February 4 to 20, 2022
SaharaReporters, New York