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Biden says the U.S. considers a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics

Biden says the U.S. considers boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics

November 22, 2021: -On Thursday, President Joe Biden said that the U.S. is considering a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing to protest the treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority of China.

Under a diplomatic boycott, American athletes can still participate in the games, which began February 4, 2022. But an official delegation of U.S. government officials would not attend.

The diplomatic boycott idea of the Beijing Games is now old. By April, a State Department spokesman said the U.S. was talking with key allies about ways to protest China’s human rights record at the Winter Olympics.

On Thursday marked the first time Biden himself had confirmed that a diplomatic boycott was “something we’re considering.”

Biden gave an answer in response to a direct question before quickly pivoting to the next reporter. The exchange occurred in a meeting in the Oval Office with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In, The Washington Post reported that the announcement of a U.S. diplomatic boycott of the Beijing games would occur before the end of the month.

Human rights activists have long known for a global boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which they have labeled the “Genocide Games.” They have urged the International Olympic Committee to postpone or relocate the events.

But Western governments have balked at the idea of a complete boycott of the games, a move they regard as unfairly punishing athletes for the misdeeds committed by the host government.

Beijing is drawing international condemnation for its “extensive program of repression” against its Uyghur Muslim minority ethnic group members.

In March, the United States and its allies imposed sanctions on several officials in Xinjiang province, the traditional homeland of the Uyghur people. Those sanctions remain in place.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has labeled the treatment of Uyghurs in China a “genocide,” but Biden has not used the word. Beijing denies that it violates Uyghurs’ human rights.

Biden’s remarks came just days after he held a highly anticipated virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday night. The conference produced little in the way of concrete outcomes, however.

A White House spokesman later confirmed that the Olympics did not come up during the meeting, which lasted several hours.

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