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2022 Beijing Winter Olympics: China criticises US diplomatic boycott

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(BBC) – China has condemned a planned US diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and threatened to retaliate.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China would take “resolute counter-measures”, 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.

At a media briefing on Tuesday, Mr Zhao accused the US of violating “political neutrality in sport” and said the proposed boycott was “based on lies and rumours”.

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.

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.

The Women’s Tennis Association last week suspended all tournaments in China because of “serious doubts” about Ms Peng’s safety.

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