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US in two minds on 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics boycott?

(TibetanReview.net, Apr07’21) – The United States has on Apr 6 indicated its openness to the idea of boycotting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics especially because of persistent credible allegations of genocide in Chinese ruled Xinjiang. However, a senior State Department official has later denied that any such move was underway.

The US would discuss a joint boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China with its allies and partners, axios.com Apr 7 cited State Department spokesperson Ned Price as saying during a press conference Apr 6.

“[A joint boycott] is something that we certainly wish to discuss,” Price has said. “A coordinated approach will be not only in our interest but also in the interest of our allies and partners.”

“So, this is one of the issues that is on the agenda, both now and going forward, and when we have something to announce, we will be sure to do that.”

A boycott, if it materializes, would be the first US Olympic boycott since Moscow in 1980 and will come as the Biden administration attempts to hold Beijing accountable for its sweeping campaign against ethnic minorities in the far west region of Xinjiang, the report noted.

However, the report also cited an unnamed senior State Department official as saying later on that the issue of a joint boycott had not been discussed and will not be discussed with US allies and partners.

“Our position on the 2022 Olympics has not changed. We have not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners. The State Department Spokesperson did not say we had, contrary to some reporting.”

While negating the suggestion that a boycott move was underway, the senior State Department official has said, “China uses coercion and aggression to systematically erode autonomy in Hong Kong, undercut democracy in Taiwan, abuse human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and assert maritime claims in the South China Sea that violate international law.”

Sponsors of the 2022 Winter Olympics were also under pressure to pull out, or at least to speak out against China’s human rights abuses, the report noted.

Over 160 human rights groups called on the International Olympic Committee last September to revoke the 2022 Winter Olympic Games from China. The later refused.

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