The Biden administration is expected to announce a U.S. diplomatic boycott from the 2022 Olympic Games in protest of China’s human rights abuses, CNN reported Sunday night.
A diplomatic boycott would mean no U.S. government officials would attend the Games, but U.S. Olympic athletes would still be allowed to compete.
A full boycott was not expected.
In China, censors are already at work with the words “US Olympic boycott” blocked on Sina Weibo.
This comes after sources tell CNN that the Biden admin is set to announce this week a diplomatic boycott of the games —
An act China has condemned as “politicizing sports.” pic.twitter.com/A4qwtq8oQm
— Kristie Lu Stout✌🏽 (@klustout) December 6, 2021
China has recently been criticized for cracking down on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, its policies towards Tibet and Taiwan, and for detaining and abusing Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang—the latter of which has been classified by the State Department and some European countries as “genocide.”
In response to the news, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said they would take countermeasures against the Biden administration if the diplomatic boycott were to go ahead.
“The U.S. should stop politicizing sports and hyping up the so-called ‘diplomatic boycott’ so as not to affect China-US dialogue and cooperation in important areas,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a news conference Monday.
“The Winter Olympics is not a stage for political show and political manipulation.”
The calls for a boycott from the Games have only escalated in recent weeks with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai disappearing from public view after making sexual assault accusations against a senior official in the Chinese Communist Party.
A diplomatic boycott is considered as the best way to for the U.S. to hold China accountable for its actions while not punishing the athletes.
The U.S. has not fully boycotted an Olympic Games since 1980.