Fri 19 November 2021:
President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that the United States is considering a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing in protest of China’s treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority.
American athletes would still compete in the games, which begin on February 4, 2022, despite the diplomatic boycott. An official delegation of US government officials, on the other hand, would not be there.
“It’s something we’re considering,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office following a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US and allies are in “active conversations” about how to approach the upcoming Winter Olympics in China.
When asked at a news conference on Thursday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not comment on the nature of the boycott but said the Biden administration has “serious concerns” about human rights abuses in China.
“There are a range of factors where we look at what our presence will be,” she said.
The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the United States would likely announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics before the end of the month.
Human rights campaigners have long urged for a global boycott of the Beijing Olympics, dubbed the “Genocide Games” by activists. They’ve also asked the International Olympic Committee to reschedule or relocate the games.
Biden’s remarks came three days after a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, during which the US president raised human rights abuses and a host of strains on the US-Sino relationship.
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