Washington, April 7 2021: There has been a growing pressure to shun the Beijing Olympics in 2022 based on human rights grounds. The US has expressed a desire to discuss with allies, the decision on whether to boycott the games.
State department spokesman Ned Price said the US would wish to discuss the matter but hadn’t yet made a decision. He said, “2022 remains a ways off, but we will continue to consult closely with allies and partners to define our common concerns and establish our shared approach.”
Activists have increasingly called for a boycott of the Olympics in part over what rights monitors say is the mass incarceration and indoctrination of more than one million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim people in the western region of Xinjiang.
The Biden administration has repeatedly kept the door open to boycotting the Olympics without announcing any firm direction. White House press secretary Jen Psaki earlier said the administration will consult with the US Olympic Committee. A potential boycott of the Beijing Olympics has increasingly become embroiled in US domestic politics when Biden backed the moving of a domestic sporting event from Georgia after the state passed some legislation leading to difficulties in Black people voting.
Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter, “If you live in mainland China, there’s no voter ID required because there’s no voting that takes place.” China has denounced calls for a boycott and denies genocide, saying it is providing vocational training to minorities to reduce the allure of Islamic extremism.
In recent history, the US led a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, with the Soviet bloc in retaliation boycotting the Summer Games in Los Angeles four years later.
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