As the US government gears up to officially announce its absence from the upcoming 2022 Olympics in Beijing this week, China's foreign ministry is prepping up to take countermeasures if the diplomatic boycott does get formalized.

According to Reuters, China's foreign ministry revealed on December 6, that U.S. politicians should stop calling for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics to avoid hurting bilateral ties and China will take "countermeasures" if necessary.

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games will run from Feb 4-20
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games will run from Feb 4-20Reuters

China resorts to threats

Those calling for a boycott are "grandstanding" and should stop "so as not to affect the dialogue and cooperation between China and the United States in important areas, Reuters quoted Zhao Lijian, China's foreign ministry spokesperson who stated at a news conference on Monday.

"If the U.S. insists in wilfully clinging to its course, China will take resolute countermeasures," Zhao added.

Last month, President Joe Biden told the US media that a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Games was being considered to protest against China's violation of human rights, especially of Uyghurs, the Muslim minority group. The administration has been under pressure from activists and members of Congress to skip the games, stated Reuters.

China and US flags

The news of the diplomatic boycott was reported by CNN based on confidential sources, although, no official comment has been received on the matter yet. 

A full boycott is not expected, meaning US athletes will still be allowed to compete. The last time the US fully boycotted the Olympics was in 1980 when former President Jimmy Carter was in office, the CNN report furthered.

Zhao called the potential boycott "a stain on the spirit of the Olympic charter" and a "sensationalist and politically manipulative" move by US politicians.

Last week, after several warnings to China over censorship on international tennis star, Peng Shuai's sexual assault matter; the Women's Tennis Association, the principal organizing body of women's professional tennis that also governs the WTA tour, suspended all tennis tournaments in China and Hong Kong.

"Given the current state of affairs, I am also greatly concerned about the risks that all of our players and staff could face if we were to hold events in China in 2022," stated Simon in a statement on their website.