Speaking at the White House press briefing, US Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, announced that “the Biden administration would not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses”.
The announcement comes as China continues to face criticism over their detention of over one million Uighurs in “re-education camps”. Detainees have reported being tortured, sexually abused, and forcibly sterilised whilst in detention.
US diplomatic or official representation “would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang” Psaki added. She did note that US athletes would continue their participation in the games.
She further highlighted US President Biden’s remarks to Chinese Premier Xi that “standing up for the human rights is in the DNA of Americans”.
China has lashed out at the US describing the boycott as a “pretentious act” and a “political manipulation” which would have no impact on the Games”.
They further claimed that “no invitation has been extended to US politicians whatsoever, so this ‘diplomatic boycott’ simply comes out of nowhere”.
The US is reportedly encouraging its allies to also boycott diplomatic representation at the games. Australia is claimed to be likely to follow suit.
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