This past Wednesday, China issued a warning to the United States to not boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics coming next year. The talks of boycotts stem from alleged human rights abuses and violations against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The warning comes after the Biden administration recently stated that it was looking into a coordinated response with multiple countries to the alleged violations in China.
The U.S. State Department stated this past Tuesday that the Biden administration is discussing a potential joint effort among its allies to respond to the abuses in Xinjiang while still thinking of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
According to the Associated Press:
“The U.S. State Department suggested an Olympic boycott was among the possibilities but a senior official said later a boycott has not been discussed. The International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee have said in the past they oppose boycotts.”
The AP reported this past Tuesday that spokesperson Ned Price reportedly talked about the topic earlier, saying “Part of our review of those Olympics and our thinking will involve close consultations with partners and allies around the world.”
“These Games remain some time away. I wouldn’t want to put a timeframe on it, but these discussions are underway,” price continued. “It is something that we certainly wish to discuss and it is certainly something that we understand that 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.”
According to the Daily Wire, the State Department later “issued a statement saying it was not considering a boycott after spokesman Ned Price suggested earlier in the day that one was possible in response to China’s human rights abuses.”
A Foreign Ministry spokesperson in China shot down the allegations that there are human rights violations currently taking place against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. He vaguely threatened of a “robust Chinese response” to any potential boycotts of the Olympics, according to the AP.
“The politicization of sports will damage the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the interests of athletes from all countries,” the spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, stated. “The international community including the U.S. Olympic Committee will not accept it.”
It is notable that the Biden administration has recently started taking a position on the location of sporting events as President Biden has stated that he would “strongly support” Major League Baseball moving its All-Star Game out of Atlanta, Georgia, in protest of the most recent voting laws passed within the state. This raises the question as to whether or not Biden has any plans to take such a strong stance on evident human rights violations in China and call for the United States to boycott the winter games.