President Joe Biden said that the U.S. is considering a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic games in Beijing to protest China’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority, writes CNBC.
Under a diplomatic boycott, American athletes would still participate in the games, which begin Feb. 4, 2022. But an official delegation of U.S. government officials would not attend.
The idea of a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing games is not new. As early as April, a State Department spokesman said the U.S. was in talks with key allies about ways to protest China’s human rights record at the Winter Olympics.
But Thursday marked the first time Biden himself had confirmed that a diplomatic boycott was “something we’re considering”.
Biden gave the brief answer in response to a direct question, before quickly pivoting to the next reporter. The exchange occurred during a meeting in the Oval Office with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Earlier this week, The Washington Post reported that the announcement of a U.S. diplomatic boycott of the Beijing games would likely occur before the end of the month.