On Monday, the US announced it will not be sending officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Bejing in a diplomatic boycott.
The announcement was long-expected since the US is taking every opportunity it can to take action against Beijing. The boycott only applies to US government officials and won’t stop US athletes from participating in the games.
Announcing the move, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki cited China’s alleged human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim population in Xinjiang.
“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,” she said.
The claim that China is committing a “genocide” in Xinjiang was first made by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the end of the Trump administration, and President Biden’s State Department quickly reaffirmed the designation. China denies the accusation of genocide, and there are reasons to doubt the US claim.
Psaki said the Biden administration still fully supports the US athletes participating in the games. “The athletes on Team USA have our full support, we’ll be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home,” she said.