Diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics announced by White House

The White House on Monday announced that the U.S. would launch a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics because of China’s human rights abuses including multiple Uygher concentration camps where at least one million members of the ethnic minority are said to have been held. 

“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic games given [China’s] ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during Monday’s briefing.

Under a diplomatic boycott, American athletes can still compete in the Olympics and it will still be televised for people to watch the events.

China had already banned international fans from the games citing COVID-19 worries. The summer Olympics in Tokyo also banned spectators, but still saw some COVID transmissions during the games.

Can’t have “business as usual”

Psaki said that U.S. athletes will still have the government’s full support as they compete at the games, but that China’s actions make it impossible to continue with “business as usual.”

China has threatened to retaliate against nations that boycott the Olympics, and some sanctions are expected to result from this decision.

Businesses may also withhold sponsorship from the games at the risk of losing support from the huge Chinese market, which may limit the number who stand up to the CCP regime.

“If a company does not boycott the Games, it risks reputational damage with Western consumers. But if it does, it risks being shut out of the Chinese market,” analysts said.

At this point, according to CNBC, most companies expect reputational damage with Western consumers to be the lesser of two evils.

President Joe Biden has reportedly been considering a diplomatic boycott since last month.

Tensions rising

His decision to move forward may be emblemmatic of the deterioration of the relationship between the U.S. and China over humanitarian concerns and the regime’s encroachment on Taiwan and Hong Kong, two supposedly sovereign territories connected to China.

The U.S. has tried for years to walk the line between holding China to account for its behavior and cutting off its huge market of goods, and the task is getting harder and harder as time goes on.

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