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US to announce diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

IANS | December 06, 2021 12:46 PM

NEW DELHI: The administration of US President Joe Biden is expected to announce this week that no American government officials will attend the 2022 Beijing Olympics, implementing a diplomatic boycott of the games, CNN reported.

The move will allow the US to send a message on the world stage to China without preventing US athletes from competing, the report said.

The National Security Council, which has been privately discussing the boycott, declined to comment.

Last month, President Biden told the media that he was weighing a diplomatic boycott as Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, advocated for one in protest of China's human rights abuses, the CNN report said.

A full boycott is not expected, meaning US athletes will still be allowed to compete.

The last time the US fully boycotted the Olympics was in 1980 when then President Jimmy Carter was in office.

Last month's virtual summit between the US President and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, seen as some of the most critical diplomatic talks of Biden's presidency, yielded no significant breakthroughs, the report said.

However, it served as an auspicious restart to relations following steep deterioration during the final year of former President Donald Trump's administration and continued hostility into Biden's.

Throughout the November summit, Biden and Xi engaged engaged in a "healthy debate", according to a senior administration official present for the discussions.

Biden raised concerns about human rights, Chinese aggression toward Taiwan and trade issues, the report added.

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