US announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 winter Olympics
DHARAMSALA, 7 Dec: The US has declared a diplomatic boycott of the soon to be held 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity.”
“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 winter Olympics given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced on Monday.
While Psaki stated that the US athletes will continue to compete and will have the administration’s full support, she added that “we will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games”.
The diplomatic boycott also applies to the Paralympic Games, which are also taking place in Beijing, she confirmed.
“We have a fundamental commitment to promoting human rights. And we feel strongly in our position and we will continue to take actions to advance human rights in China and beyond,” she concluded.
Additionally, the AP reported that the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Robert Menendez has called the diplomatic boycott of the games a necessary step to demonstrate the US unwavering commitment to human rights in the face of the Chinese government’s unconscionable abuses.
He has further called on “other allies and partners that share our values to join with the United States in this diplomatic boycott”.
In a similar vein, Tibetan NGO’s and activists who have long campaigned for the boycott of the genocide games have celebrated the move by the US as a victory of their campaign that began over a year ago and urged the other leaders of the world to take a cue from the US and follow suit.
The London-based advocacy group Free Tibet stated in a press release that “we welcome president Biden’s announcement” and added that “other governments, including the United Kingdom, must follow suit.”
“The announcement by the US government today is testament to the tireless campaigning by organisations around the world, including Free Tibet, which recognised from the outset that Beijing should never have been rewarded with the right to host these Winter Games,” said John Jones, Free Tibet Campaigns, Policy and Research Manager.
The advocacy group further called on the British Prime Minister “Boris Johnson to work with the British Olympic Association to carry out a full boycott of these bloody Winter games. Only a full boycott can truly hold the Chinese government to account for its appalling actions.”
In 2008, the summer Olympics was also held in Beijing where China promised that their human rights record would improve. However, China did not fulfil that promise and human rights did not improve under the CCP during or after those games.
The Games are scheduled to begin on 4 Feb next year, but calls to boycott it continue to get steam.