U.S. declares diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights abuses

A Chinese language flag flutters close to the Olympic rings on the Olympic Tower in Beijing, China November 11, 2021.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins | Reuters

The U.S. on Monday introduced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, a transfer that had garnered bipartisan assist from critics of China’s human rights document.

Whereas U.S. athletes will nonetheless take part, President Joe Biden’s administration won’t ship any official illustration to the video games, given China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes towards humanity in Xinjiang and different human rights abuses,” White Home press secretary Jen Psaki instructed reporters.

Psaki was referring to China’s reported therapy of Uighur Muslims in that northwestern territory, which has been declared a genocide each by Biden and the administration of former President Donald Trump.

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“The athletes on Group USA have our full assist. We can be behind them one hundred pc as we cheer them on from dwelling. We won’t be contributing to the fanfare of the video games,” Psaki mentioned.

“U.S. diplomatic or official illustration would deal with these video games as enterprise as normal within the face of the [People’s Republic of China’s] egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we merely cannot try this,” she mentioned.

“We’ll proceed to take actions to advance human rights in China and past,” she mentioned.

The transfer, which was anticipated, was preemptively criticized earlier Monday by China’s Overseas Affairs Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. “It’s a travesty of the Olympic spirit, it’s political provocation, and an offense to the 1.4 billion Chinese language individuals” he mentioned, in accordance with a translation of his remarks.

“If the U.S. is insistent on taking place the fallacious path, China will take vital and resolute countermeasures,” Zhao mentioned.

The Chinese language authorities underneath President Xi Jinping has been condemned by dozens of nations over its actions in Xinjiang, in addition to its crackdown towards pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong in 2019 and 2020.

Extra just lately, Beijing has come underneath hearth following the weekslong disappearance of tennis star Peng Shuai, who vanished after publicly accusing a former senior official within the Chinese language Communist Social gathering of sexual assault.

The Girls’s Tennis Affiliation introduced final week it should droop tournaments in China instantly because of issues over the therapy and security of Peng and different gamers.

Disclosure: CNBC mum or dad NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports activities and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer time and Winter Video games via 2032.

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