US Declares Diplomatic Boycott Of China’s 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Story Highlights
  • The United States Monday announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
  • Decision comes after Washington spent months discussing what position to take on the Games.
  • Rights groups and politicians welcomed the decision.

Washington: The US launched a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, a measured protest of China’s human rights record that falls short of barring US athletes from competing. The decision comes after months of deliberation in Washington about how to approach the Games, which will be held in February of next year in a country that Washington accuses of committing “genocide” against Uyghur Muslims in the northern Xinjiang province.

Beijing did not respond immediately, but the Chinese foreign ministry has previously vowed “resolute actions” in the event of a boycott. The move was widely praised by human rights organisations and lawmakers in the United States, where President Joe Biden has been pressed to speak out against Chinese human rights violations. Given China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, as well as other human rights atrocities,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced the administration will send no diplomatic or formal representation to the Games. Psaki said, “Sending official representation would signal that the Games were business as usual, And we simply can’t do that. The athletes on Team USA have our full support. We will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home.”

The International Olympic Committee stated that sending or not sending officials was a matter of personal choice “purely political decision for each government, which the IOC fully respects due to its political neutrality. “The declaration also makes clear that the Olympic Games and athletes’ involvement are outside politics, which we appreciate,” according to a representative for the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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