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China stresses Olympic spirit after US backtracks on boycott of Beijing Winter Games

Zhao called allegations of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region "intentional lies to smear China."

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Beijing: The Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed on Wednesday that boycotting the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing would go against the spirit of the Olympic Charter after the United States backed away from the idea of discussing with allies a possible boycott of the upcoming event.

US State Department Spokesman Ned Price said during a regular press briefing on Tuesday that the United States planned to discuss with allies and partners the possibility of a joint boycott of the Winter Olympic Games scheduled to be held in Beijing in 2022. However, shortly after the press conference, a number of US media outlets, including the Hill and CNBC, reported that the United States has not discussed a joint boycott with allies and partners. In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian reiterated China’s stance on the issue, after noting that the United States had backed away from the discussion of any joint boycott.

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“In regards to the so-called ‘united actions to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics,’ I want to stress that politicizing sports is against the spirit of the Olympic Charter and would harm the interests of athletes of various nations and the international Olympics industry. The international community, including the US Olympics Committee, would not accept it,” Zhao said during a regular press briefing on Wednesday.

A number of Western human rights organizations have called on their governments to boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing to protest alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.

Zhao called allegations of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region “intentional lies to smear China.”

Chinese authorities have long argued that the policies introduced in Xinjiang were necessary to root out terrorism.

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