Biden mulls US diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

Biden mulls US diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics
President Joe Biden spoke as he hosted the leaders of Canada and Mexico. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: President Biden has said that he is weighing a US diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic games due to be held in China.

“That is something we are considering,” the US president told reporters ahead of talks with the leaders of Mexico and Canada.

A diplomatic boycott would mean that no officials from the US are sent to attend the games. The decision comes amid rising tension in the US-China relationship.

On Monday, President Biden held his first direct talks with China’s Xi Jinping.

At the White House, spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the US and China leaders didn’t discuss the Olympics during their three-hour virtual meeting on Monday.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have called for a diplomatic boycott as a means to protest against Chinese human rights abuses.

A diplomatic boycott wouldn’t affect athletes, but the White House spokesperson Psaki said the US is still finalising “what our presence will be” at the games, which are due to begin on 4 February.

The US has accused China of genocide towards the Muslim minority group Uighurs which lives mostly in the autonomous region of Xinjiang.

Tensions have also risen over how China has acted to repress political freedoms in Hong Kong.

President Joe Biden’s comment came as he was hosting Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for formal talks at the White House.

The talks, dubbed the Three Amigos Summit, are expected to focus on tax subsidies for electric vehicles, border issues, Covid precautions and other issues.

US senators proposed a draft amendment to a bill last month that would ban the US State Department from spending government funds to “support or facilitate” the attendance of US diplomats at the Games.

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