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US Announces Diplomatic Boycott Of Winter Olympics 2022 In Beijing

US athletes will still participate in the Olympics, but the administration will not be sending government officials to the games. The same policy applies to the Paralympic Games to be held in Beijing.

US announces diplomatic boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing (Image: File)
US announces diplomatic boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing (Image: File)

Washington: White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday said that in a symbolic protest against China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang,” the US administration has decided not to send any official delegation to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, said. The diplomatic boycott however would not affect American athletes.

Earlier last month, US President Joe Biden said that he was considering such a diplomatic boycott to protest China’s human rights record.

US athletes will still participate in the Olympics, but the administration will not be sending government officials to the games. The same policy applies to the Paralympic Games to be held in Beijing, CNN reported.

According to CNN, the move marks an escalation of pressure by the US on China over allegations of forced labour and human rights abuses in China’s western region of Xinjiang, particularly against the Uyghur population and other ethnic and religious minority groups.

The US is looking to send a “clear message” that the human rights abuses in China mean there cannot be “business as usual,” Psaki told media persons at a White House briefing.

Sending official representation would signal that the Games were “business as usual,” Psaki said. “And we simply can’t do that.”

“The athletes on Team USA have our full support. We will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home,” she added.

Psaki emphasised that the diplomatic boycott of the games does not signify “that is the end of the concerns we will raise about human rights abuses.” The White House has informed its allies abroad of the US decision, Psaki said.

Psaki also said the White House did not feel it was the “right step” or fair, to penalize US athletes who have been training for years by holding an entire US boycott of the Olympics. The last time the US fully boycotted the Olympics was in 1980 when former President Jimmy Carter was in office.

The US generally sends a delegation to the Olympics. Notably, in the okyo 2020 Olympics, first lady Jill Biden lead the US’s diplomatic delegation. According to a CNN report, the 2022 Winter Olympics was not a topic of conversation during the three-and-a-half-hour summit that Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held last month.

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The summit did not yield any major breakthroughs, and none were expected ahead of time. Biden had also raised concerns about human rights, Chinese aggression toward Taiwan and trade issues.

With Inputs From ANI.

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