Spain will not join diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics
One day before the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics kicking off in China, the Spanish sports minister says his country will not join the US-led diplomatic boycott of the Games.
Spain has never supported a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Games in China and is not going to do so, Miquel Iceta, the country's sports minister, stressed Thursday.
Iceta is currently in Beijing as part of the Spanish delegation to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games on Friday.
"[Spain] has never joined the Olympic boycott and will not do so, and we must remember that most EU countries have the same stance," Iceta told the Spanish Efe news agency.
In late 2021, the US announced it would not send any official representation to the Beijing Olympics, citing claims of "human rights violations" by China, which the latter firmly denies.
The move was followed by the UK, Australia, and Canada. Their athletes will still participate in the Games nonetheless.
"Purely political decision"
Russia slammed the decision, as Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that "the Olympic Games should be free of politics."
North Korea also described the Washington-led diplomatic boycott of the 2022 winter games as an insult to the Olympic spirit.
For its part, the International Olympic Committee described the US decision as a "purely political decision for each government, which the IOC in its political neutrality fully respects."
The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing between February 4-20. The Chinese capital is the first city to host both the Winter and Summer Games.