A Chinese government spokesperson said the US committed 'evil crimes' against Native Americans in a bid to counter reports of genocide in Xinjiang

Chinese spokesperson Zhao Lijian is seen in front of a Chinese flag at a press conference
Chinese spokesperson Zhao Lijian speaks at a daily media briefing in 2020.Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images
  • A Chinese spokesperson railed against the US' diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics.

  • The US had announced the boycott in response to Beijing's "ongoing genocide" of the Uyghur minority.

  • Zhao Lijian fired back by accusing the US of committing "evil crimes" against Native Americans.

China's foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian lashed out at the US on Tuesday for its diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, saying that allegations of genocide — which China faces over its treatment of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang — "fits the US better than anyone else" for its treatment of Native Americans.

"The US has been fabricating the biggest lie of the century about so-called 'genocide' in Xinjiang, but it has long been debunked by facts," Zhao said, though he declined to specify what facts.

He said the diplomatic boycott, which the White House announced on Monday citing "ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity" by Beijing, is based on "ideological biases as well as lies and rumors."

Zhao denounced the US for committing "evil crimes" against Native Americans and said that the boycott "gravely violates" the political neutrality for which the Olympic Games are known.

He said US officials hadn't even been invited to the games in the first place, repeating a similar statement he made earlier this week when rumors of the boycott began to surface.

"The US political agenda wins no support and is doomed to fail," he added.

Australia, the UK, and Canada have since joined the US in the boycott, which will still allow their athletes to compete while their diplomatic representatives stay home.

Other Chinese diplomats have ridiculed the US boycott, saying President Joe Biden was "flattering himself" to assume US officials had been invited to the Winter Olympics.

Zhao has consistently decried frequent reports that China has been detaining hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and people from other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, breaking up families, and attempting to erase their cultures and religious loyalty. Many Uyghurs have been forced to work in labor camps picking cotton.

On Wednesday, Congress passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act with a vote of 428-1, imposing economic sanctions on China for all goods produced by forced labor in Xinjiang.

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