The fallout over U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to stage a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Games is sure to continue over the coming days.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Monday before the Biden administration announced the boycott, “the U.S. should stop politicizing sports and hyping up the so-called ‘diplomatic boycott’ so as not to affect China-US dialogue and cooperation in important areas.”
Zhao further said any boycott would be “a stain on the spirit of the Olympic charter.”
While others Western countries are likely to follow with a diplomatic boycott of their own, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is not about to take sides over the issue.
An IOC spokesperson told Around the Rings, “The presence of government officials and diplomats is a purely political decision for each government, which the IOC in its political neutrality fully respects. At the same time, this announcement also makes it clear the Olympic Games and the participation of the athletes are beyond politics and we welcome this.”
A full boycott of the Beijing Games is not expected. The last time the U.S. fully boycotted the Games was the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow.