President Joe Biden has said that the US is considering a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The White House has cited China’s alleged human rights abuses as influencing the potential decision.
Biden on Thursday described a diplomatic boycott as “something we’re considering,” in comments to reporters as he met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki later said that China’s alleged repression of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang province was influencing discussions in Washington on a potential boycott.
“There are areas that we do have concerns: human rights abuses,” Psaki told reporters. “We have serious concerns.”
However, Psaki said that the final decision on a boycott would be made by Biden himself.
China is set to host the Winter Olympic Games in February 2022. Should the US boycott the games, American athletes would still compete, but US diplomats would abstain from the opening ceremony.
Lawmakers from both parties have spoken up in favor of a boycott, and in October a bipartisan group of senators proposed an amendment to the military’s annual spending bill (NDAA) that would forbid the State Department from spending any money on sending US dignitaries to the games.
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