US expected to announce diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics soon: report

The Biden administration is expected to announce a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics this week, CNN reported on Sunday.

The decision would mean no U.S. government officials will attend next year’s games in Beijing, though U.S. athletes could still compete. 

Last month, Biden said a diplomatic boycott was “something we are considering.” At that time, the White House said Biden had “serious concerns” about issues in China including human rights abuses.

“There are a range of factors where we look at what our presence will be,” press secretary Jen Psaki said, though she did not describe what a diplomatic boycott would look like specifically. 

The National Security Council, which was discussing the boycott privately, declined to comment to CNN, which said several sources confirmed the pending diplomatic boycott. 

Because U.S. athletes are still expected to be allowed to compete, the move does not constitute a full boycott like the one during the 1980 Olympics in Moscow during former President Jimmy Carter’s time in office.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) called for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing games in March. 

“In authoritarian states like China, the Olympics has more often been a tool of propaganda than a lever of reform,” Romney said in a statement to The Hill at the time. “It is unacceptable for China to have the honor of hosting the Olympics while the Chinese Communist Party commits genocide against the Uyghur people.”

In May, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also voiced support for a diplomatic boycott, saying the U.S. “cannot proceed as if nothing is wrong about the Olympics going to China.”

Tags Jen Psaki Jimmy Carter Mitt Romney Nancy Pelosi

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