CHINA warned countries not to politicise sports in response to New Zealand's Trade Minister Damien O'Connor's comments about a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
It comes as US President Joe Biden publicly backed a diplomatic boycott early this week and Prime Minister Boris Johnson seemingly backed the move during Prime Minister's Questions yesterday.
The PM was urged to support the boycott by Sir Iain Duncan-Smith, to which he appeared to give his support to in the Commons.
Damien O'Connor made remarks during an appearance before the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee on Thursday. It is important New Zealand does not send diplomatic representatives at a ministerial level to the 2022 Winter Olympics, O'Connor said, as "we need to stand up and make points" and Auckland is "very strong on those issues around human rights".
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news conference in Beijing that athletes from all countries, including New Zealand, are welcomed to the sports extravaganza.
"We hope all parties will demonstrate a 'more united' Olympic spirit and stop politicizing sports," Wang said.
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