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.
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.