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China warns US not to boycott Beijing's 2022 Winter Olympics

CHINA’S government warned Washington today not to boycott next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing after US President Joe Biden’s administration said it was talking with allies about a joint approach to complaints of human rights abuses.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson rejected accusations of abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. He warned of an unspecified “robust Chinese response” to a potential Olympics boycott.

“The politicisation of sports will damage the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the interests of athletes from all countries,” said the spokesperson, Zhao Lijian.

“The international community including the US Olympic Committee will not accept it.”

Separatist lobbies are protesting at China’s hosting of the games, due to start in February 2022. They have urged a boycott or other measures in response to allegations of repression in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong.

The US State Department suggested an Olympic boycott was among the possibilities but a senior official said later a boycott has not been discussed.

The International Olympic Committee and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee have said in the past they oppose boycotts.

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