Romney calls for economic, diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

Romney calls for economic, diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: Conservatives change their tune on big government Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' MORE on Monday urged the Biden administration to partially boycott the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

In a New York Times op-ed, the Utah Republican called on President BidenJoe BidenManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Abrams targets Black churchgoers during campaign stops for McAuliffe in Virginia Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability MORE to allow U.S. athletes to attend the games but said American spectators should not. The senator also suggested replacing the traditional political delegation with critics of China's government as well as ethnic minorities Beijing is accused of oppressing.

"We should enlist our friends around the world to join our economic boycott. Limiting spectators, selectively shaping our respective delegations and refraining from broadcasting Chinese propaganda would prevent China from reaping many of the rewards it expects from the Olympics," Romney wrote.

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"American spectators — other than families of our athletes and coaches — should stay at home, preventing us from contributing to the enormous revenues the Chinese Communist Party will raise from hotels, meals and tickets," he continued, adding, "Rather than send the traditional delegation of diplomats and White House officials to Beijing, the president should invite Chinese dissidents, religious leaders and ethnic minorities to represent us."

Republicans have stepped up pressure on the White House in recent weeks over Biden's stance toward China.

The White House has also seen calls from Beijing to step back from the confrontational stance of the Trump administration, which included a trade war with China shortly after the former president took office in 2017 as well as reinvigorated U.S. support for Taiwan and dissidents in Hong Kong.

Top-level administration officials are set to meet with their Chinese counterparts at a meeting in Alaska in the coming weeks to discuss a wide range of issues.

“We ask the United States to view China and China-U.S. relations in an objective and rational manner, reject the Cold-War and zero-sum game mentality, respect China's sovereignty, security and development interests, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs,” a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said over the weekend.