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China warns Washington not to boycott the Winter Olympics

BEIJING (AP) – China’s government warned Washington on Wednesday not to boycott next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing after the Biden government said it was talking to allies about a common approach to complaints about human rights violations.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman dismissed allegations of abuse against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. He warned of an unspecified “robust Chinese response” to a potential Olympic boycott.

“Politicizing sports will hurt the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the interests of athletes from all countries,”

; said spokesman Zhao Lijian. “The international community, including the US Olympic Committee, does not accept it.”

Human rights groups are protesting China’s host of the games, which are due to start in February 2022. They have called for a boycott or other measures to draw attention to allegations of Chinese abuse against Uighurs, Tibetans and residents of Hong Kong.

The U.S. State Department suggested an Olympic boycott was among the options, but a senior official said a boycott has not been discussed later. The International Olympic Committee and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee have previously said they are against boycotts.

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