US diplomats to boycott 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

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President Joe Biden said the US was weighing diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics
President Joe Biden said the US was weighing diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

The United States has announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in China.

The White House said no official delegation would be sent to the games because of concerns about China’s human rights record.

But it said US athletes could attend the games and would have the government’s full support.

China has previously said it will take “resolute counter-measures” in the event of a boycott.

President Joe Biden said last month that he was weighing up a diplomatic boycott of the Games.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have called for the boycott as a means to protest against Chinese human rights abuses.

The US has accused China of genocide towards the Uighurs – a Muslim minority group which lives mostly in the autonomous region of Xinjiang.

Tensions have also risen over the way China has acted to repress political freedoms in Hong Kong.

US diplomatic representation “would treat these games as business as usual” in the face of Beijing’s “egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told a daily press briefing.

“We simply can’t do that.”

China earlier threatened “countermeasures” if a boycott was announced.

“I want to stress that the Winter Olympic Games is not a stage for political posturing and manipulation,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press briefing.

“If the US is bent on having its own way, China will take resolute countermeasures,” Mr Zhao said.