The United States of America is reportedly looking to discuss with its allies on how to proceed with its participation in the upcoming Winter Olympics at Beijing in a coordinated way, amidst growing calls for a Boycott of the games over China’s Human Rights Records
Ned Price, the spokesman of the State Department repeated USA’s concerns over the human rights violations, particularly about Beijing’s persecution of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region, which the United States deems a genocide.
Talking about the possibility of considering a joint boycott, Price said, “It is something that we certainly wish to discuss,”. However, he later clarified that the United States does not have an announcement regarding the Beijing Olympics.
As I said, we don’t have any announcement regarding the Beijing Olympics. 2022 remains a ways off, but we will continue to consult closely with allies and partners to define our common concerns and establish our shared approach to the PRC.
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) April 6, 2021
The position of the USA on the 2022 Games has not changed, but the administration is in frequent contact with allies and partners about their common concerns about China. Republican politicians have been calling for a boycott over the maltreatment of more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslim people.
According to an independent UN panel, in 2018 they received credible reports of at least 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslims that were being held in China’s border regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Human rights groups have urged the IOC to take the Olympics out of China because of its treatment of Uighur Muslims along with other human rights concerns. China denies human rights abuses.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki earlier said the administration will consult with the US Olympic Committee. In late February, the White House said that it would seek guidance from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which had no comment.
The last time the US boycotted the Olympics was the Moscow Olympics in 1980 when athletes were not allowed to participate by then President Jimmy Carter amid Cold War tensions.
Thomas Bach doesn’t understand the logic behind boycotting Olympics
But both the International Olympic Committee and the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee oppose boycotts. IOC president Thomas Bach said that history shows that boycotts never achieve anything.
“It also has no logic. Why would you punish the athletes from your own country if you have a dispute with a government from another country? This just makes no real sense.”
Many Human rights groups have urged the IOC to take the Olympics out of China because of its treatment of Uighur Muslims along with other human rights concerns. China denies human rights abuses. Beijing has said that there is no need for a boycott as it is only providing vocational training to minorities to end Islamic extremism.