Biden Administration Will Weigh 2022 Beijing Games for U.S.
On Tuesday, the State Department said the Biden Administration is consulting with allies about a joint approach to China, its human rights record, and how to handle the Bejing Winter Olympics.
At first, the department suggested an Olympic boycott protest was one way to go about it, but later a senior official said that it has not yet been discussed. Said official told ESPN that the United States’ position has not changed, but the administration has been consistently speaking with allies about common concerns about China. Department spokesperson Ned Price said the consultations were being held to present a united front.
Price also declined to comment on when a decision on the Olympics might be made but noted there is still almost a year until it is set to begin. The Bejing Winter Olympics opens on February 4, 2022, and China has denied all charges of human rights abuses. It says “political motives” underlie the boycott effort.
Rights groups have gathered at the International Olympic Committee and have been told the Olympic body must stay politically “neutral.” The IOC has told them that China has given “assurances” about human rights conditions. In the past, both the IOC and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee have said they oppose boycotts.
IOC president Thomas Bach said in March that history shows boycotts never achieve anything. “It also has no logic,” he said. “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 sense.”
The USOPC also commented, “We oppose Game boycotts because they have been shown to negatively impact athletes while not effectively addressing global issues.”
Since there is so much time until the 2022 Bejing Winter Olympics are set to commence, it will be interesting to see how things play out.