The US government plans to diplomatically boycott the Winter Olympics in China, according to CNN news channel. This means that government officials will not attend the ceremonies, although American athletes will continue to travel.
Politicians from both parties have urged President Biden to boycott the Games over human rights abuses against Uyghurs. Biden had already said in mid-November that he would consider the request. CNN has now reported that it will announce its decision this week.
Other countries may also consider not sending a government delegation. According to British media, there has been discussion about this within the Johnson government and Australia would like to follow the US decision.
China earlier said it would not invite government leaders considering a boycott at all. No American politician has been invited yet. The only world leader who has so far pledged to attend is Russian President Putin.
Relations between the United States and China have been tense for several years. Talks between Biden and Chinese leader Xi were shaky last month. The United States wants to be able to discuss the Chinese approach to the Uyghurs, but also the situation in Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan, while for Xi, these are internal matters.
The United States boycotted the Olympics once. It was in 1980, when the event was held in Moscow, shortly after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. 66 other countries also faltered in that time, including China. The Netherlands was represented.
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