China asks the US to stop ‘interference’ in the Olympics



China is demanding the US end its “interference” in the Beijing Winter Olympics, which begin next week, ostensibly in an apparent reference to a diplomatic boycott imposed by Washington and some of its allies.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the request in a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday Beijing time, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The United States has said it will not send dignitaries to the Olympics, which open on February 4, in a protest over China’s detention of more than 1 million Uighur Muslims in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. Cuong, along with human rights repression elsewhere in the country.

The boycott does not prevent US athletes from participating in the Olympics, which are being held under strict anti-pandemic regulations. China has also protested against what it says is calls in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs withdraw staff and their dependents from embassies and consulates around China due to tightening restrictions.

According to a bulletin posted on the ministry’s website on Thursday, Wang also called for an end to US support for self-governing Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory.

China’s growing assertiveness against the United States has extended far beyond its relations with Central American nations and nearly to Beijing’s maritime claims in the East and South China Seas.

At the monthly briefing on Thursday, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian responded to a question about US military activities in the Asia-Pacific region by saying that the forces China’s armed forces were “fully prepared to deal with any foreign provocations or emergency situations” arising during the Olympics. .

The United States says it does not recognize most of China’s territorial claims in the strategically important South China Sea and often sends warships and aircraft near islands held by China.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi also complained that President Joe Biden’s administration had maintained its previously enacted tough economic and political policies despite their desire for a less confrontational relationship.

“The US has repeatedly made wrong words and actions against China, causing new conflicts in relations between the two countries,” Wang said.

A brief statement from the State Department said Blinken and Wang exchanged views on how to manage strategic risks, health security and climate change. It doesn’t mention the Olympics or Taiwan. Blinken highlighted the economic and security risks posed by Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine, the statement said.

The phone call came after veteran diplomat Nicholas Burns appointed him as the new US ambassador to China, a position that had been vacant for more than a year.

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