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China Demands US Stop 'Interference' in Winter Olympics

A light show is seen at the Bird's Nest Stadium during a rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, in Beijing, China, Jan. 27, 2022.

China has accused the United States of “interference” in the Beijing Winter Olympics and is demanding it stop.

"The most urgent priority right now is that the U.S. should stop interfering in the Beijing Winter Olympics," Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement following a call with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday.

"The U.S. continuously puts forward wrong words and actions toward China, causing new conflicts in relations between the two countries," Wang was quoted as saying.

China’s accusation of interference likely refers to the so-called diplomatic boycott of the Games, which are set to start next week.

As a result of the boycott, the U.S. will not send diplomatic delegates to the Games. The United Kingdom and Australia have also announced similar boycotts. When the diplomatic boycotts were announced, Beijing responded by saying Washington should “stop politicizing sports.”

The boycott is to protest China’s treatment of the Muslim minority Uyghurs in the northwestern Xinjiang province. China is accused of genocide and forced labor but denies the accusations.

The State Department said on its website that Blinken and Wang discussed managing strategic risk, health security and climate change.

The statement made no reference to the Olympics.

The statement said Blinken "underscored the global security and economic risks posed by further Russian aggression against Ukraine and conveyed that de-escalation and diplomacy are the responsible way forward." Russia denies it has intentions of invading its neighbor.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.