Beijing | Agencies: China warned on Tuesday that a U.S diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics could harm two-way dialogue and cooperation in important areas, and called for politics to be kept out of sports.

The step, encouraged for months by some members of Congress and rights advocacy groups, comes just weeks after talks by leaders Joe Biden and Xi Jinping that aimed to ease tense relations between their nations.

China opposes the boycott and would take "resolute countermeasures", foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.The United States' "plot" of trying to disrupt the Olympics was doomed to fail, leading to a loss of "moral authority and credibility", Zhao told a regular media briefing in the Chinese capital.

The move comes despite an effort to stabilize ties with a video meeting last month between Biden and China's leader Xi Jinping.

China's embassy in Washington called the boycott "political manipulation" that would have no impact on the Games as no invitations had been extended to U.S. politicians.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is the only leader of a major country who has accepted an invitation.

The Chinese Mission to the United Nations said the move "reflects the Cold War mentality of the United States."

"The U.S. just wants to politicize sports, create divisions and provoke a confrontation," a statement from the mission said. "This approach will find no support and is doomed to fail."

It was unclear if others would join the United States, although U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said allies were consulted on a "shared approach"

Earlier, U.S. government officials said that they will boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing because of China's human rights "atrocities", on Monday, just weeks after talks aimed at easing tense relations between the two superpowers.

The diplomatic boycott, which leaves athletes free to travel to Beijing to compete, has been encouraged by some members of Congress and rights advocacy groups for months.

President Joe Biden's administration highlighted what Washington says is genocide against minority Muslims in China's western region of Xinjiang. China denies all rights abuses.

"U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the PRC's egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we simply can't do that," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told a daily press briefing, referring to the People's Republic of China.

"The athletes on Team USA have our full support," Psaki added. "We will be behind 100% as we cheer them on from home."

Posted By: Ashita Singh