WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden said Thursday that the United States is weighing a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics next year over human rights abuses in China, a move that will deter American dignitaries, but not athletes, from participating in the games.
Speaking to reporters when he received Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office, Biden said supporting the boycott of the Olympics in February is “something we’re looking at.”
The United States and other countries traditionally send high-level delegations to every Olympics. First Lady Jill Biden led the American contingent at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this year, while the second gentleman, Doug Ehmhoff, led the delegation at the Paralympics.
International advocacy groups and some members of Congress have called for a symbolic US boycott of the Beijing Games over China’s attitudes toward Uighurs and its crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong. The boycott will not affect the participation of American athletes.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the president has no timetable for deciding whether to boycott.
The White House said the Olympics did not start on Monday, when Biden actually met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.