China threatened the United States on Tuesday over the Biden administration’s diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, warning that the US will “pay” for its action.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced the administration “will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games” due to China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, and other human rights abuses.”
The move prompted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian to issue the threatening response during a press conference on Tuesday: “The US will pay a price for its erroneous actions. You may wait and see.”
Zhao accused the Biden administration of “fabricating the biggest lie of the century” about what he characterized as the “so-called ‘genocide’ in Xinjiang,” which he said has been “debunked.”
“Based on its ideological biases as well as lies and rumors, the US attempts to interfere with the Beijing Winter Olympics, which will only expose its malicious intention and make it lose more moral principles and credibility,” Zhao said. “Speaking of ‘genocide,’ the US fits this label better than anyone else for the evil crimes they committed against Native Americans.”
Zhao accused the Biden administration of “gravely” violating the political neutrality of the Olympics through “political posturing and manipulation.”
“The US should stop politicizing sports, and stop disrupting and undermining the Beijing Winter Olympics, lest it should affect bilateral dialogue and cooperation in important areas and international and regional issues,” Zhao concluded.
Despite China’s insistence that it is not committing egregious human rights violations against Uyghur minorities, more than 40 nations spoke out against the atrocities in a joint statement issued at the United Nations in October.
The statement cited “credible reports” of political re-education camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where more than 1 million minorities have been held against their will.
“We have seen an increasing number of reports of widespread and systematic human rights violations, including reports documenting torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, forced sterilization, sexual and gender-based violence, and forced separation of children,” the statement read.
The nations called on China to allow unrestrained access to the region, including the United Nations high commissioner for human rights. China’s ambassador to the U.N. dismissed the statement, asserting that the claims therein were “groundless.”
Earlier this year, Uyghur exiles described the human rights violations being committed against them by the Chinese Communist Party, including forced abortions, killings, torture, rape, enslavement, forced separation of children from their parents, forced sterilization, labor, enforced disappearances, destruction of cultural and religious heritage, persecution, forced marriages, and the imposition of Han Chinese men into Uyghur households.