The U.S. State Department has acknowledged it’s exploring a potential boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in protest of human rights violations in China.
What Happened: The State Department said any boycott would occur in conjunction with U.S. allies, according to a Politico report.
“It is something that we certainly wish to discuss,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price, adding that “a coordinated approach will be not only in our interests but also in the interests of our allies and partners.”
Price noted a final decision on the subject would not occur in the immediate future. The Winter Games are set to begin on Feb. 4, 2022.
“We’re talking about 2022, and we are still in April of 2021, so these Games remain some time away,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to put a time frame on it, but these discussions are underway.”
Why It Matters: Price added the State Department was also considering other measures, pointing out the U.S. government joined its British, Canadian and European Union allies on sanctions to provide financial condemnation of China’s human rights policies in relation to the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang and the suppression of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.
The only previous time the U.S. boycotted the quadrennial sporting event was for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, leading 66 countries in avoiding the games in protest of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The Soviets and their allied nations boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
(Photo: Olympic logo on Hong Kong Art Museum, 2008, Photo by Xiaowei, via WIki Commons)
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