United States Announces Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Eryn Gadson, Politics Reporter

On Monday, Dec. 6 the U.S announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics that will take place in Beijing, China, in response to China’s human rights records. It has been made clear that U.S athletes will still participate in the games but the Biden Administration will not be sending any official representation to Beijing. The White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, stated that President Joe Biden made the decision based on China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”

This statement is in reference to the treatment of Uighar Muslims in the Northwestern territory (which has been declared as genocide by both the Biden and former Trump Administration,) and the suppression of democratic protests in Hong Kong.

The United States isn’t the only country placing a diplomatic boycott on the Winter Olympics; so is Great Britain, Canada and Australia. According to ESPN, China has responded to these outbursts of boycotts, claiming it’s violating the Olympic spirit.

The White House encouraged other countries to follow suit and not send any delegates to Beijing in protest…but not every country sees this situation the same way. Russian President Vladimir Putin will be attending the opening ceremony and the president of the Russian Olympic Conference claimed that these boycotts were “pointless.” The French Minister of Education said the country would not join the boycott either due to a need for a common European stance on the issues of a diplomatic boycott.

Many people see this act of diplomatic boycotts as politicizing sports even though athletes can still participate in the games, while other note the importance of taking a stance against countless violations of human rights.