The United States plans to stage a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The move comes in protest of China’s continued human rights violations. Press Secretary Jen Psaki made the announcement in a briefing, according to Rolling Stone.
While the Team U.S.A. athletes will still compete at the games, there will be no official United States presence. This means that no diplomats will attend the Olympics in Beijing. In fact, nobody will officially represent the Biden administration at all.
“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 winter Olympics and Paralympic games given the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”
Psaki says the boycott sends a clear message to the Chinese government. They have been accused of using detention camps and committing genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslims in the country. The Biden administration can’t, she says, send diplomats in good conscience.
China was unhappy when the news broke. A spokesman for the national Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Olympics weren’t a stage for political showboating. The Chinese government believes the boycott to be a provocation.
The most recent diplomatic boycott of the Olympics came in 1980. The U.S. boycott then protested the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Lawmakers from both major parties supported the effort.
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