US President Joe Biden said Thursday that his country is “considering” a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics as a way to protest human rights abuses on Chinese soil.
“It’s something we’re thinking about,” Joe Biden said in Washington when asked if the government was considering not sending any representatives to the competition.
Explaining that the athletes would be able to compete, the president did not rule out a possible diplomatic boycott of all other forms of representation.
China has responded in strong terms to any mention of the boycott, which associations and NGOs have long called for, especially given the treatment of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang, which the Americans denounce as a case of “genocide.”
It could also open a new front of diplomatic tension between the world’s two superpowers, just days after a meeting between the two presidents, in which Biden and Xi Jinping discuss “guarantees” that can avoid conflict.
Beijing 2022 will take place from February 4-20 next year, in the Chinese capital, and participation in the event has divided US politics, with several bills in Congress aiming to either punish companies that support the event or call for a complete boycott.
If political representatives split, with a final and official decision expected by the end of the month, the North American Olympic Committee requested that athletes not be penalized after nearly two years of the Covid-19 epidemic, along with remembering the Moscow boycott 1980, among other things, as a “mistake”. , given the transformation of sport into a “political tool”.
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