Joe Biden boycotts Beijing Winter Olympics as fears of war in China mount | World | News

The president is reportedly going to announce that neither he nor any US diplomatic officials will attend the event, which takes place three months from now, over allegations of human rights abuses. The potential letdown comes as US-China tensions mount over Taiwan’s fate. Joe Biden strongly opposed China’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. During a virtual meeting between the two leaders this week, President Xi Biden warned not to play with fire over Taiwan.

But sooner rather than later, according to several sources familiar with the plans, the White House is expected to announce that neither President Biden nor any other US government official will attend the Beijing Games.

This diplomatic boycott is intended, the sources told the Washington Post, as a way to respond to the Chinese government’s human rights abuses without impacting American athletes.

While the government has not technically finalized this decision, a formal recommendation has been made to the president and he is expected to approve it before the end of the month, administration sources have confirmed.

Biden and President Xi held a virtual meeting Monday night, which was announced as a way for the two leaders to demonstrate their ability to manage complex US-China relations in an era of mounting tensions.

Several reports this week have said President Xi Jinping planned to tell Biden about the Olympics and perhaps even invite him in person.

However, according to initial reports, the issue was not addressed at all during the 3½ hour meeting.

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A White House spokesman said: “President Biden expressed concern about the PRC’s practices in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, as well as about human rights in general.”

The Biden administration has not previously discussed the possibility of a boycott of any kind.

Now that the virtual Biden-Xi summit is complete, sources say, the government has one less reason to announce the diplomatic boycott.

The government will inform the allies, but let them make their own decisions about whether or not to follow the US lead.

Meanwhile, human rights groups and activists have also called for a full boycott of athletes.

But American academic and author Jules Boykoff argued that a full boycott of athletes was unlikely.

Speaking to The Diplomat magazine, he said: “If by this you mean a ‘full-fledged boycott’, both an athlete boycott and a diplomatic boycott, I don’t think that path is very likely. However, a diplomatic boycott combined with an economic boycott seems more likely.”

Discussing why the boycott amounted to human rights issues, he said: “Let’s be clear: something has to be done. China is not a place for the Olympics, as extreme human rights violations in the country violate the principles enshrined in the Olympic Charter.”

Since the Olympics have traditionally been a non-political movement, it is unlikely that athletes will commit to condemning the issue or boycott the games themselves.

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Mr Boykoff confirmed this by saying: “Olympians are relatively apolitical, which makes sense as they have to devote so much time to their sport. Second, for many of them, Beijing will be their only chance at Olympic glory. sacrificing this opportunity on the altar of human rights policy.”

Senator Mitt Romney, who oversaw the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, also called for an economic and diplomatic boycott in a New York Times op-ed in March.

Mr Romney argued that a full boycott – in which athletes would not be present – would be counterproductive.

He pointed to President Jimmy Carter’s outright boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, which the Soviet Union spun as a victory in its propaganda.

Reaction to Cater’s decision was mixed. In retaliation, the Soviet Union boycotted the Los Angeles Olympics four years later, in 1984.

In 2008, when Beijing last hosted the Olympics, then-President George W. Bush accepted an invitation to participate, despite China’s crackdown on Tibet at the time.

He later advocated for human rights in China by hosting the Dalai Lama in Washington and awarding him the Congressional Gold Medal.

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