United States considering diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics, Joe Biden says

The Biden administration may end up not sending an official delegation to the Beijing Olympics in 2022, in protest over China's alleged human rights abuses.

President Joe Biden and  Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau during a meeting in the Oval Office, Thursday,  Nov. 18, 2021.

President Joe Biden and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau during a meeting in the Oval Office on 18 November 2021. Source: Getty Images North America

The United States is considering a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, President Joe Biden confirmed on Thursday, a move that would be aimed at protesting China's human rights practices.

"Something we're considering," Mr Biden said when asked if a diplomatic boycott was under consideration as he sat down for a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

A diplomatic boycott would mean that a delegation of US officials would not attend the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February.

Governments typically send a high-ranking delegation of diplomats to opening ceremonies in a show of international support for the thousands of athletes from around the world who participate.

The 2022 Winter Olympics run from the 4 to 20 February.

Activists and some members of Congress from both parties have been pressing the Biden administration to diplomatically boycott the event.

The US government accuses China of carrying out a genocide against Muslim ethnic groups in its western Xinjiang region, accusations that Beijing denies.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Thursday that US consideration of a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing is driven by concerns about human rights practices in Xinjiang province.

"There are areas that we do have concerns: human rights abuses," Ms Psaki told reporters. "We have serious concerns."

Published 19 November 2021 at 7:42am, updated 19 November 2021 at 7:48am
Source: Reuters - SBS