According to the State Department, the United States is considering joining the boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic games as the Biden Administration is working to organize an international pushback on China.
A spokesperson from the State Department, Ned Price, said the United States has not decided about fully boycotting the games but is considering due to the growing concerns of China’s egregious human rights abuses.
This comes after the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in February, the Biden administration made no final decision on boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over human rights abuses in China against the Uyghur Muslims of Xinjiang.
When reporters asked Price about the Biden administration plans ahead of the games, he said, “It [a joint boycott] is something that we certainly wish to discuss,” adding that “a coordinated approach will not only be in our interest but also in the interest of our allies and partners.”
The Winter Games are set to take place in Beijing between February 4th to 20th of next year.
“We don’t have any announcement regarding the Beijing Olympics,” Price said by tweet following his earlier statement. The “2022 remains a ways off, but we will continue to consult closely with allies and partners to define our common concerns and establish our shared approach to the PRC.”
As I said, we don’t have any announcement regarding the Beijing Olympics. 2022 remains a ways off, but we will continue to consult closely with allies and partners to define our common concerns and establish our shared approach to the PRC.
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) April 6, 2021
In early March, a human rights and advocacy organization for the ethnic group, World Uyghur Congress (WUC), asked the ethics commission chair for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to review the calls for the 2022 Winter Games not to be held in Beijing, China. They cited the allegations of “crimes against humanity” by China against Uyghurs.
Djaouida Siaci, a human rights lawyer, told Axios, “an Olympics boycott by the U.S. and its allies could help persuade the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang.
This would be the first boycott of the Olympic games from the United States since 1980 in Moscow.
President Joe Biden spoke to Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, in February and expressed his approach to China would be different than his predecessor’s.
Biden said in a speech at the State Department, “We will confront China’s economic abuses,” and they are the “most serious competitor.”
“But we’re also ready to work with Beijing when it’s in America’s interest to do so. We’ll compete from a position of strength by building back better at home and working with our allies and partners,” Biden said.