Biden Says U.S. ‘Considering’ Partial Boycott of Beijing Olympics
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden said he’s weighing a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing, meaning the U.S. would decline to send a delegation of government officials.
It’s “something we’re considering,” Biden said in response to a question during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday.
Some U.S. lawmakers have urged a diplomatic boycott to show American disapproval of recent Chinese economic and military actions and the country’s human-rights abuses in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
Biden and Chinese President Xi Jingping didn’t discuss the Olympics during a 3.5-hour-long virtual summit on Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said after Biden’s remark.
In response to a question, Psaki said she didn’t have an update on what the U.S. presence would be.
“We have serious concerns about the human rights abuses we’ve seen in Xinjiang,” she said. “And certainly there are a range of factors as we look at what our presence would be.”
The Beijing games open Feb. 4. Organizers are under scrutiny for their coronavirus-control measures, which include requiring vaccination for athletes and official delegations. The country is battling outbreaks of the virus in nearly two dozen provinces.
A Polish luge coach complained earlier this month that the Chinese have focused more intently on preventing virus transmission than on basic safety measures after one of his athletes was severely injured in a practice run.
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