The Biden administration plans to announce a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, according to a report from the Washington Post that cites several sources familiar with the matter.
“Biden administration officials have been virtually silent on Olympics-related issues in recent months, refusing to speculate on whether Biden would support a full athlete boycott (as human rights groups and activists are calling for), or a more limited boycott, or no boycott at all,” the Post writes.
“Now that the Biden-Xi virtual summit is complete, sources said, the administration has one less reason to hold off on announcing the diplomatic boycott. The administration will inform allies but leave them to make their own decisions on whether to follow the U.S. lead.”
The boycott is a protest over China’s human rights violations, which notably include the genocide of Uygur Muslims in the Xinjiang province.
Interestingly, Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in a virtual summit on Monday. However, the report says that the pending Olympic boycott is not related to the call.
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers pushed for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games back in June. A diplomatic boycott does not mean the United States will bar athletes from competing. Instead, it would prohibit funding to send any official American delegation — senior government officials, including the president — to the event, a message sent across the world.
People with knowledge of the situation expect Biden to approve the recommended diplomatic boycott before the end of the month. The 2022 Winter Olympics will begin on Friday, February 4.
Props to Biden here. Credit where it’s due.