Sec. of State Blinken: Talk of Boycotting 2022 Beijing Olympics ‘Premature’

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press”  that talk of the United States boycotting the 2022 Beijing Olympics was “premature.”

Anchor Chuck Todd asked, “You said, I believe during your confirmation hearing, that China’s treatment of the Uyghurs was an effort to commit genocide. I have to ask it this way, how do you justify doing business with China or any country that you believe is committing genocide?”

Blinken said, “When it comes to what we’re seeing from the government in Beijing, including with regard to the Uyghurs and the actions it has taken in Xinjiang yes, that’s the the right description. We need to be able to bring the world together in speaking with one voice in condemning what has taken place and what continues to take place. We need to take actually concrete actions to make sure, for example, that none of our companies are providing China with things that they can use to repress populations, including the Uyghur population We need to be looking at products made in that part of China to make sure they’re not coming here. But we also have to make sure that we’re dealing with all of our interests and what is the best way to effectively advance our interests and our values. When it comes to China, we have to be able to deal with China on areas where those interests are implicated and require working with China even as we stand resolutely against egregious violations of human rights or in this case acts of genocide.”

Todd asked, “Some people think a proper punishment is to not participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics. Is that on the table among Western allies or not?”

Blinken said, “Chuck, we’re not there yet. This is a year or so before the Olympics. We’re not focused on a boycott. What we are focused on is talking, consulting closely with our allies and partners, listening to them, listening to concerns. But that’s premature.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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