U.S. hints at possible diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 Games

U.S. President Joe Biden confirms during Oval Office meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau his administration is considering it, but offered no further details.

Foto de archivo del presidente de EEUU, Joe Biden, en una rueda de prensa en la Casa Blanca. 
Sep 24, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/
Foto de archivo del presidente de EEUU, Joe Biden, en una rueda de prensa en la Casa Blanca. Sep 24, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/

On Thursday U.S. President Joe Biden said the United States is considering a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Asked about it at the end of a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Biden said it’s “something we are considering.”

Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a three-and-a-half hour virtual meeting on Monday, and while rumors swirled that Xi would use the meeting as an opportunity to invite Biden to Beijing for the Games, the topic of the Olympics was never raised.

A diplomatic boycott means the U.S. would not send an official government delegation to the Games, but American athletes would be allowed to compete.

FILE PHOTO: A Chinese flag flutters near the Olympic rings on the Olympic Tower in Beijing, China November 11, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A Chinese flag flutters near the Olympic rings on the Olympic Tower in Beijing, China November 11, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

China has warned of a “robust Chinese response” to any potential boycotts.

Human rights groups and some U.S. lawmakers have urged the U.S. and other nations to boycott the Beijing Games, however Biden dismissed the move as being unfair to the athletes.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said last month policing human rights records of host countries is out of the scope of the IOC and the Olympics should be “respected as politically neutral ground.”

Foreign spectators are not permitted at the Beijing Games due to pandemic restrictions.

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