The United States confirmed on Dec. 6 that it will stage a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing that the U.S. will not send an official delegation to the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games due to China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”
Psaki said that not sending an official delegation to the 2022 Olympics “could send a clear message” that the human rights abuses against Uyghurs and others in China cannot be “business as usual.”
“We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games,” Psaki said.
However, U.S. athletes will still be allowed to compete in the Olympics because the government did not feel “it was the right step to penalize athletes who had been training for this moment.”
“The athletes on Team USA have our full support. We will be behind t hem 100% as we cheer them on from home,” Psaki said.
The announcement came two months before the Games are set to begin and it received bipartisan praise.
“I applaud President Biden’s strong leadership in announcing that there will be no official U.S. diplomatic presence at the 2022 Winter Olympics,” Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called for the diplomatic boycott last May, said in a statement.
“While we must support and celebrate our athletes, America — and the world — cannot give our official imprimatur to these games or proceed as if there is nothing wrong with holding the Olympics in a country perpetrating genocide and mass human rights violations,” Pelosi further said.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who called for the diplomatic boycott last March, said that the Biden administration was “right to refuse” a diplomatic presence at the Beijing Olympics.
© Fourth Estate
® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.