China: no one cares if politicians boycott Olympics

"The protagonists of the Beijing Winter Olympics are athletes from various countries, not individual politicians," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a media briefing in Beijing, "Those politicians who clamor for boycott, for political self-interest, are showing off and hyping. No one cares whether they come or not."

U.S. President Joe Biden said last month that he was considering such a diplomatic boycott to protest China's human rights record, including what Washington says is genocide against minority Muslims. The administration has been under pressure from activists and members

of Congress to skip the games.

Australia's relationship with China, its largest trading partner, soured after it banned Huawei Technologies Co Ltd from its 5G broadband network in 2018 and called for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19. Beijing responded by imposing tariffs on several

Australian commodities.