Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China would take “resolute countermeasures”, but did not give further details.On Monday, the US said it would not send diplomats to Beijing over concerns about China’s human rights record.It added that US athletes could go and would have full government support.

Relations are also strained over China’s suppression of political freedoms in Hong Kong, and because of concerns for the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who was not seen for weeks after she accused a top government official of assault.

Tensions are high between both countries. The US has accused China of genocide in its repression of the predominantly Muslim Uyghur minority in the western region of Xinjiang  an allegation China has strongly denied.

High-level government representatives  from the US and other countries  are usually present at Olympic Games. Earlier this year, First Lady Jill Biden led the US delegation at the summer Olympics held in Tokyo.

But on Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the US would not contribute to the “fanfare” of the Olympics. She said not sending an official delegation to the 2022 Games “could send a clear message”.

In the US, the diplomatic boycott was praised by both Democratic and Republican politicians.Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the US and the world could not “proceed as if there is nothing wrong with holding the Olympics in a country perpetrating genocide”.

Other countries are also considering the move. UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said the country would decide “in due course” whether to join the boycott, adding that he would not personally attend the Olympics. Officials in Japan and Australia have also said they are discussing the measure.

The Biden administration’s diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics falls far short of a previous US boycott in 1980, when it pulled its athletes out of the Moscow Olympics to protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the previous year.The Soviet Union and its allies, in turn, boycotted the following 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles.The US is itself due to hold the Summer Olympics in 2028 in Los Angeles.


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