Beijing will not invite Western politicians to the 2022 Winter Games, citing Covid-19 risks, local media report, after Joe Biden and Boris Johnson hinted at a limited official presence at the Games.

China has been accused of genocide against Muslim ethnic groups, leading to calls for a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights abuses.
China has been accused of genocide against Muslim ethnic groups, leading to calls for a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights abuses. (Reuters)

China will not invite Western politicians, who threaten a diplomatic boycott to the Beijing Winter Olympics.

The country has not invited US politicians to attend the Winter Games and has no plans to invite a large number of foreign guests because of Covid-19 risks, China's Global Times newspaper said on Monday.

The newspaper's source was an anonymous person familiar with the organisation of the Games.

The Chinese state media report came after US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said their countries might limit an official presence at the Games.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is the only leader of a major country who has accepted China's invitation to attend the Winter Olympics.

READ MORE: Beijing lights the flame, kicking off 2022 Winter Olympic Games

"Malicious hype"

Activists and members of the US Congress from both parties have been pressing the Biden administration to diplomatically boycott the event.

The US government accuses China of carrying out a genocide against Muslim ethnic groups in its western Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, an allegation Beijing denies.

China has repeatedly condemned calls for a diplomatic boycott, in which countries do not send officials to attend the opening ceremony, as "malicious hype".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a news conference last Friday that China has received 1,528 applications from the US Olympic Committee.

The committee is responsible for submitting names of US athletes and officials to attend the Winter Games. Zhao did not specify who the applications were for.

READ MORE: Human rights groups call for athletes to boycott Beijing Winter Olympics

Source: Reuters