The White House announces a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics

The White House Press Secretary stated that the United States will diplomatically boycott China’s Winter Olympics in protest against the Communist government’s violation of human rights. Jan Psaki Said on Monday.

“In view of China’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity and other human rights violations in Xinjiang, the Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representatives to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics,” she said. Psaki I told reporters that it was referring to the People’s Republic of China.

Under the diplomatic boycott, American athletes will still participate, but no officials or politicians will accompany the delegation. This is a way for the United States to issue a statement about China’s human rights violations without punishing athletes.

“We think it is incorrect to punish athletes who have been training and preparing for this moment,” she said. Psaki Said. “And we feel that we can send a clear message by not sending an official U.S. delegation.

“The athletes of the US team have our full support, and we will support them 100%,” she continued. “When we cheer for them at home, we will not contribute to the hype of the game.”

Just a few weeks after President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a virtual summit, the government announced the news. During the meeting, Xi Jinping is expected to mention the Olympics and may invite Biden to attend the Olympics scheduled to begin on February 4.

Ms. Psaki said on Monday that there was no discussion of the Olympics in the meeting with Xi Jinping.

The US State Department stated that “genocide and crimes against humanity” against Muslim Uyghurs occurred in the Sinnijiang region of western China.

China has been accused of intensifying repression of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities and detaining them in re-education camps. According to reports, the Chinese government is also trying to limit the growth of the Uyghur population, destroy mosques and holy sites, and send children to boarding schools for indoctrination.

The British Ambassador to the United Nations called this situation “one of the most serious human rights crises of our time.”

Ms. Psaki said that the United States has notified its allies of its decision and will let other countries decide on their own whether to boycott the Olympics.

The Chinese government-controlled newspaper People’s Daily lashed out at the idea of ​​a diplomatic boycott over the weekend.

The newspaper stated: “The call by some Western politicians for a diplomatic boycott and the threat of not sending athletes to Beijing 2022 have not changed the fact that the Olympics will become a gathering of world winter sports athletes.” “The Olympics are never about politicians, but about athletes. .”

In May of this year, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs refuted allegations of human rights violations, calling them “lie and false information” to “smear and slander” China.

A coalition of human rights activists called for a complete boycott of the Winter Olympics, which means that American athletes will not participate.

The alliance includes the fight for the freedom of Tibetan students, China’s Opposition to the Death Penalty, and the Tibet Action Institute. The alliance stated that participating in the Olympics is tantamount to recognizing “China’s genocide of Uyghurs and legitimizing China’s policies of increasing repression by totalitarian regimes.”

The Speaker of the House of Representatives and California Democrat Nancy Pelosi called for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics in May to draw attention to China’s human rights record.

“If you are willing to pay tribute to the Chinese government when they commit genocide, what moral authority do you have to talk about human rights again anywhere in the world?” she said at the time. “So, respect your athletes at home. Let us conduct a diplomatic boycott. … It is unacceptable to remain silent on this issue. It encourages China’s abuse of power.”

Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said last month that the United States should engage in a full diplomatic and sports boycott.

“For the safety and protection of our own athletes and China’s crimes against the world, we should launch a full boycott,” he said.

• Joseph Clark contributed to this report.

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