British politicians leading a growing call for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing have drawn the ire of Chinese state media representatives warning of retaliation.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state-controlled Global Times, said Tuesday on Chinese platform Weibo any nation boycotting the 2022 Winter Games should be punished with sanctions.
He specifically referred to Ed Davey, the leader of the UK Liberal Democrats, as a “mentally deranged” person.
“As the hosting nation, to sanction a country ruining the Olympics, China would be doing justice on behalf of the heavens,” Hu said, according to a UPI report.
His threat of retaliation continues a theme the editor first began earlier this month of attacking any person or government that dared to question the Beijing event:
Boycotting 2022 Beijing Winter Games, an unpopular idea, won’t receive wide support. IOC and athletes will both oppose it, and China will seriously sanction any country that follows such a call. pic.twitter.com/3cOSb2wMdS
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) February 7, 2021
Hu spoke on the same day Hidetoshi Ishii, the vice president of the Free Indo-Pacific Alliance, told Breitbart News that allowing the event to proceed unchallenged will inspire a genocidal Communist regime to escalate its violence against ethnic minorities.
China’s dispute with the UK began after the British government was called on to act after the BBC reported on systemic rape of ethnic Uighur women in Chinese concentration camps.
“The evidence that a genocide is now occurring in western China is so clear that the United Kingdom and the whole world must now stand up to Beijing and use every available tool to stop it,” Davey had said in early February, according to the Guardian.
Hu maintained politicians who call for a boycott are “evil forces” that must be punished.
“The Chinese people will certainly stand firmly behind the Chinese government and its [potential] sanctions,” Hu said. “People of the world will surely support China.”
Several U.S. Republican senators led a resolution to move the Beijing games earlier this month, following the United States’ designation that China’s actions in the region was “genocide” in the last days of the Donald Trump presidency.
The Biden administration has so far said it had no intention of telling its athletes not to go.
Beijing 2022, which will be the largest Winter Games yet with 109 medals on offer, is set to begin on February 4 next year.
This will be China’s first time hosting the Winter Olympics, after holding the Summer Games in Beijing in 2008. The city will be the first to host both Summer and Winter Games.