U.S. Pres. Joe Biden Says He's Thinking About "Diplomatic Boycott" of Beijing Olympics
U.S. President Joe Biden said that he's mulling over the idea of a "diplomatic boycott" of the Beijing Olympics in 2022.
Biden announced this during an Oval Office meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to a New York Post report.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked regarding the matter, to which she replied that there is no update on any potential action.
Psaki added that she wanted to leave the space to make decisions for the president.
The "diplomatic boycott" would be a half-measure that ignores China by not sending high-level U.S. officials to events like opening or closing ceremonies. However, it would not prohibit U.S. athletes from participating in the competition.
Some Republicans have demanded that U.S. athletes be banned from participating.
Biden had a virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday. However, the two leaders did not discuss the Beijing Olympics, according to officials.
Beijing Olympics "Diplomatic Boycott"
The decision not to send diplomats would reverse any workings between the two presidents to ease tensions, Reuters reported.
Activists and members of Congress from both parties have pressed the Biden administration to diplomatically boycott the event as the U.S. government accuses China of doing a genocide against Muslim ethnic groups in the western Xinjiang region. Beijing continues to deny the allegations.
Psaki earlier said that there are areas of concern on the side of the U.S., such as human rights abuses.
The press secretary noted that there is a range of factors that the administration is looking at what the U.S.'s presence would be.
State Secretary Antony Blinken earlier said that the government is talking to other countries regarding their own participation in the event.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was among those calling for a diplomatic boycott. She argued that global leaders who would attend would seem that they lost their "moral authority."
The United States and its allies had imposed sanctions on several officials in Xinjiang province in March. The imposed sanctions are still in place, according to a CNBC report.
Some Republican lawmakers calling for the full boycott of the Olympics include Sen. Tom Cotton, calling the event "genocide Olympics." He said that no U.S. athletes, officials, or corporate sponsors should take part in the event.
Human rights activities dubbed the upcoming event as "genocide games." They also urged the International Olympic Committee to postpone the event or to pass the hosting duties to another country. However, Western governments disregarded the idea of a full boycott, saying it unfairly punishes athletes for the misdeeds committed by the host government.
Republican former U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called for a complete boycott. Haley said that attending would send a message that America was willing to turn a blind eye to genocide.
Meanwhile, Chinese government officials have also issued a warning, saying that there would be a "robust Chinese response" to any boycotts, according to an NBC News report.
There were also rumors that Xi would invite Biden to attend the Olympic Games in person.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: Pres. Biden says U.S. considering diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics - from CNBC Television
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