China on Tuesday satirized U.S. visa applications for officials of the country to attend the 2022 Beijing Olympics, saying it is puzzling as Washington has pledged to implement a "diplomatic boycott" of the Winter Games.
"On the one hand, the United States claims it will not send diplomatic or official representatives" to the Olympics in February, but "on the other hand, it has applied for visas for" government officials, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.
"No matter how the United States explains it, the facts are there," Zhao told reporters, while urging Washington to stop any wrong words and deeds that would disrupt the Beijing Olympics.
Earlier this month, the South China Morning Post said China has confirmed visa applications from U.S. officials planning to visit during the Beijing Winter Olympics, which start Feb. 4.
The Hong Kong newspaper reported that the U.S. government had recently submitted three-month visa applications for 18 people to provide "security support operations" at the games.