Canada joined Australia, Britain and the United States in a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing on Wednesday, with China calling the boycotts "political posturing" and a smear campaign, Trend reports citing Reuters.
The United States was the first to announce the boycott this week, saying on Monday that its government officials would not attend February's Beijing Olympics because of China's human rights "atrocities", weeks after talks aimed at easing tense relations between the world's two largest economies.
China on Tuesday said the United States would "pay a price" for its decision and warned of countermeasures but gave no details. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) sought to play down the growing diplomatic boycott.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Beijing would be aware of long-standing Western concerns about human rights in China. "(So) it shouldn't be a surprise that we decided not to send diplomatic representation."
Trudeau's decision seems sure to add tension to a relationship already strained over the detention of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. warrant.
Meng had been under house arrest in Vancouver, where she had fought extradition to the United States for almost three years on bank fraud charges. She was released and returned to China in September.