White House announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

Source: Politico | December 6, 2021 | Quint Forgey

American athletes still will be able to compete in the games.

The White House on Monday announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, citing China’s persecution of ethnic Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region and other human rights abuses.

“The athletes on Team USA have our full support,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily briefing. “We will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home. We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games.”

The administration’s decision — a diplomatic half measure which will allow American athletes to compete in the games but bar U.S. government officials from attending — comes after the United States has repeatedly criticized China’s ruling Communist Party for a string of human rights issues, provocative geopolitical maneuvers, unfair economic and forced labor practices, and a lack of international cooperation.

Specifically, U.S. officials have expressed concerns about China’s recent aggression toward Taiwan, its anti-democratic crackdown in Hong Kong, its pursuit of hypersonic weapons technology, its secrecy surrounding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, its significant maritime claims in the South China Sea, its refusal to embrace more meaningful climate change reforms and its treatment of vanished Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai.


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