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US diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

US diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Washington – AFP
The United States announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in “a precise criticism of China’s human rights record,” but the decision would not prevent American athletes from participating in the competitions.
The decision came after the US administration spent several months trying to reach the most appropriate position regarding the Winter Olympics, which will be hosted by a country that Washington accuses of committing “genocide” against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang in northeastern China.
There was no immediate comment from Beijing on the US decision, but earlier on Monday, China threatened to take “countermeasures” if an official US boycott of the Olympics was announced.
“I want to stress that the Winter Olympics is not a stage for political positioning and manipulation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in response to press reports that the boycott announcement was imminent.
For its part, the International Olympic Committee announced that it “respects” the decision taken by the United States, expressing at the same time its satisfaction that this decision did not affect the participation of American athletes.
An IOC spokesman said: “The presence of government officials and diplomats (at the Olympic Games) is a purely political decision of each government and is fully respected by the IOC within the framework of its political neutrality.”
Politicians in the United States were quick to welcome the decision, especially as President Joe Biden is facing pressure “to denounce China’s human rights violations.”
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics given the People’s Republic of China’s continued genocide, crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, and other human rights abuses. ‘ As she put it.
“The athletes in the US team have our full support. We will support them fully and cheer them up” from the United States, she added.

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