The United States has announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing. It is being held in protest of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region. White House spokeswoman Jen Zaki made the announcement Monday.
Psaki said the government was sending a “clear message” that China did not mean human rights abuses Business as usual May be. “The Biden administration will not send diplomatic or official representation to the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games in Beijing, given the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity committed by the People’s Republic of China in Xinjiang,” he said on Monday.
Psaki added that Team USA has the “full support” of the government, but that the government “does not contribute to the excitement of the game.”
Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said before the official announcement that the US boycott was a “bold move”.
“If the US wants to do business its way at any cost, China will take counter-measures,” the spokesman warned. “The Winter Olympics are not an opportunity to take and manipulate a political position.”
The Winter Games will be held from February 4 to 20 next year. The United States has accused China of committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province. According to human rights groups, China has imprisoned at least one million Uyghurs in “re-education camps”.
The US Olympic Committee has also stated its opposition to the boycott. In the past, the 1980 Moscow Games were boycotted by the United States and about 60 countries. Four years later, at the Los Angeles Games, this time it was the Soviet Union and its allies. The Olympic Committee considers it “wrong” to use sports as “political influence”.