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NS Biden Administration will not send US officials to attend Upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, staging a diplomatic boycott that drew immediate criticism from China.

An administration official said Monday that a US boycott announcement is planned for this week.

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The decision to halt official US representation at the Olympics was made several weeks ago, although administration officials decided to announce some time last month after a phone call to stabilize tensions between President Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. waited for relations, said advisers to the administration.

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Although such a boycott would not prevent US officials from attending the Games, the move would not affect athletes’ participation.

However, the US decision is likely to affect others, notably allied governments, in the following suit, and reports that the US announcement was imminent drew condemnation from Beijing, which accused Washington of grandiosity.

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“This seriously tarnishes the spirit of the Olympic Charter,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday. “This is a naked political provocation, and more so, a serious crime for the 1.4 billion Chinese people.”

Mr Biden said last month that the US government was considering Diplomatic boycott of Winter Olympics.

This article first appeared in the Wall Street Journal