China has warned countries that have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics that they “will pay the price for their wrongdoing”.
The US, UK, Australia and Canada will not send government officials to the Games because of concerns about China’s human rights record.
This includes widespread allegations of abuse against the Uighur minority group.
France, which will host the next Summer Games, said it would not join the boycott.
The Winter Olympics are expected to take place in Beijing in February 2022.
“The US, UK and Australia used the Olympic platform to political manipulation,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Chinese state media said on Wednesday that Beijing “has never planned to invite US and Western politicians who promote the topic of ‘boycott’.”
the US went the first country to announce a diplomatic boycott, with Australia, Canada and the UK following later.
Relations between the nations boycotting the Beijing Winter Games and China have been strained in recent years.
US accuses China of genocide in its crackdown on Uighurs and minority Muslim groups in the Xinjiang region. China denies all allegations of human rights abuses saying its network of detention camps in Xinjiang is aimed at re-educating Uighurs and other Muslims.
Relations have also been strained by crackdowns on political liberties in Hong Kong and concerns about Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who has not been seen for weeks after she accused a top government official of sexual abuse.
The relationships with the Canada they have also been turbulent over the arrest of a Chinese executive from Huawei and the subsequent detention of two Canadians in China. All three were released earlier this year.
A New Zealand it will not send its officers due to the pandemic, but it has also raised concerns in the past over human rights issues in China.
They say that other countries, including the Japan, are considering diplomatic boycotts of the Games.
A Italy says he is not planning to join the diplomatic boycott. Russian President Vladmir Putin accepted an invitation to participate despite his country being banned from competing due to a doping scandal in 2014.