'Shameless lies', says China slamming Pelosi's call for boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics
Beijing, May 19 (PTI) China on Wednesday slammed US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her call for a “diplomatic boycott” of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on human rights grounds, saying her remarks were "filled with shameless lies and disinformation".
The Beijing Winter Olympics is scheduled to open on February 4, 2022, just six months after the postponed Summer Olympics in Tokyo are to end.
China is currently facing widespread allegations of “genocide” in Xinjiang province where over million Muslim Uygurs were reportedly held in camps in recent years with their freedom of worship curtailed.
Criticising China’s human rights record, Pelosi, a top Democrat, on Tuesday urged global leaders not to attend the Beijing Winter Olympics.
“What I propose - and join those who are proposing - is a diplomatic boycott,” Pelosi said at a bipartisan Congressional hearing, adding that leading countries should “withhold their attendance at the Olympics”.
“Let's not honour the Chinese government by having heads of state go to China,” she added. “For heads of state to go to China in light of a genocide that is ongoing - while you’re sitting there in your seat - really begs the question: what moral authority do you have to speak again about human rights any place in the world?” Reacting to Pelosi's remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, "China deplores and rejects the attempt by certain US individuals to sling mud and sabotage the preparation and holding of the Beijing Winter Olympics by playing the human rights card out of ideological and political prejudice.” "These people's remarks are filled with shameless lies and disinformation. Their typical US-style staged farce will gain no support and is doomed to fail,” he told a media briefing here.
The US has called China's treatment of its Uyghur minority “genocide”, a charge Beijing has vehemently denied.
Zhao said the Olympic Charter clearly requires the maintenance and promotion of the independence and political neutrality of the Olympic sports.
The politicisation of sports violates the spirit of the Olympic Charter and harms the interests of athletes from all countries and the international Olympic cause, which is definitely opposed by the international community, he said.
The preparations for the Beijing Winter Olympics are progressing smoothly and have been highly regarded by the International Olympic Committee, Zhao said, urging US politicians to stop playing despicable political tricks with Olympic sports and stop standing on the opposite side of global athletes and winter Olympic fans.
In 1980, the US had led a boycott of the Moscow Olympics over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In retaliation, the Soviet bloc snubbed the 1984 Los Angeles summer Games.