President Joe Biden of the United States said on Thursday that the US administration was contemplating a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, citing security concerns and China’s human rights violations. Officials from the United States will not attend the Beijing Olympics if the US government chooses to follow their boycott. The Olympics are scheduled to begin in February, and American athletes will participate regardless of the diplomatic boycott.
US to Boycott Beijing Olympics
Biden responded to a reporter’s question on the prospect of a diplomatic boycott during his meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House by indicating that it was something he was examining. The Democrat’s remarks came following a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping a few days before.
The virtual summit between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping aimed to avert and defuse escalating tensions between the two countries on a number of international problems. Xi urged Biden’s administration not to back Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be part of its territory. According to the New York Times, Biden questioned Xi on China’s human rights violations in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong.
However, a senior administration source stated on Wednesday that President Biden had not yet given his approval for no government officials to attend the Beijing Olympics. They did, however, indicate that there were conversations about the topic that had been leaning toward that outcome.
Despite meeting virtually, Biden and Xi did not address the forthcoming Beijing Olympics, instead devoting their time to other matters. According to a senior Biden administration official present at the meeting, the two leaders had a “healthy argument.”
According to a CNN report, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the possibility of a boycott of the Beijing Olympics had no bearing on the virtual meeting between Biden and Xi.
Human Rights Violations Involved?
The scenario arises as numerous politicians, particularly Senator Tom Cotton, have urged the Biden administration to boycott the Beijing Olympics. Due to security concerns and China’s alleged human rights violations, the Arkansas Republican has called on the federal government to decide on a boycott of the event.
Cotton, a member of the Intelligence Committee, suggested that the Biden administration boycott the Beijing Olympics entirely, with no official, athlete, or business sponsor present. Several leaders, including Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney, would be unable to attend the event due to the plan.
The Arkansas senator stated that the US government had sufficient grounds to boycott the Beijing Olympics, citing China’s atrocities against the US, the civilized world, and its own people. The lawmaker’s remarks were in response to Beijing’s treatment of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang region. According to NBC News, the scenario arises when the Biden administration imposed penalties on two Chinese government officials for mistreating minorities.