Chinese citizens walk past a sign for the Beijing Winter Olympics in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, China.
Lintao Zhang Getty images
WASHINGTON – The United States and its allies are considering a joint boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, the State Department said on Tuesday.
“It [a joint boycott] is something we would certainly like to discuss, “state spokesman Ned Price told reporters when asked about the Biden administration̵
“A coordinated approach will be not only in our interest, but also in the interest of our allies and partners,” he added.
Price said the United States has not yet made a decision, but is concerned about gross human rights abuses in China. The Olympic Games are to be held between February 4 and February 20.
The potential diplomatic boycott of the Games comes as the Biden administration works to gather allies to impose international resistance on China.
Last month, the United States sanctioned two Chinese officials, citing their role in serious human rights abuses against Xinjiang’s ethnic minorities. Sanctions from the Biden administration complement the action taken by the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Earlier, Beijing rejected US accusations that it had committed genocide against Uighurs, a Muslim population indigenous to the Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang in northwestern China. The foreign ministry called such allegations “malicious lies” designed to “grease China” and “thwart China’s development.”
The sanctions came in the wake of a controversial meeting between Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi and State Counselor Wang Yi in Alaska.
On the eve of the talks in Alaska, Blinken outlined China’s widespread use of “coercion and aggression” on the international stage and warned that the United States would withdraw if necessary.
“China uses coercion and aggression to systematically undermine Hong Kong autonomy, undermine democracy in Taiwan, violate human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and assert maritime claims in the South China Sea that violate international law,” Blinken told a news conference in Japan. .
Biden, who spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping in February, had previously said his approach to China would be different from that of his predecessor, as he would work more closely with his allies to resist Beijing.
“We will confront China’s economic abuses,” Biden said in a speech at the State Department, describing Beijing as “America’s most serious competitor.”
“But we are also ready to work with Beijing when it is in America’s interest to do so. We will compete from a strong position by building better at home and working with our allies and partners.”
Tensions between Beijing and Washington have grown under the Trump administration, which is escalating a trade war and working to ban Chinese technology companies from doing business in the United States.
Over the past four years, the Trump administration has blamed China for a wide range of complaints, including intellectual property theft, unfair trade practices and the recent coronavirus pandemic.