The United States is to stage a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, it has been announced.
The US, whose President Joe Biden said last month that he was considering a boycott, has said it will send no official delegation to the sporting competition due to concerns about China’s human rights record.
In a daily press briefing, the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that to send a US diplomatic representation would be to “treat these games as business as usual”. Psaki told the briefing;
“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses”
The US has accused China of “egregious human rights abuses”, including accusing the country of genocide towards the Uighurs, a Muslim minority group. The US and a number of its allies have also expressed concerns about the actions of China in restraining political freedoms in Hong Kong.
While no official US delegation will be sent to the games, US athletes will still be allowed to attend with the government’s support.
It is expected that China will take countermeasures for the boycott. It is not yet clear if politicians from other countries will attend the games, though it is understood that talks have been held between the US and other Western countries about a possible shared approach to the games.