The Biden administration is expected to announce a limited diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Olympics this week, according to a new report.
As part of the proposed boycott, U.S. government officials will not attend the Winter Olympics in February, but U.S. athletes will continue to participate and compete, CNN reported Sunday.
President Joe Biden said last month he was considering such a diplomatic boycott to protest China’s human rights record, including what Washington considers genocide against Uyghur Muslim ethnic minorities.
The administration has come under pressure from activists and members of Congress to skip matches altogether, and the limited boycott appears to be a measure aimed at partially appeasing critics.
President Joe Biden is expected to announce limited diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 Olympics this week at a snub to Chinese leader Xi Jinping
A large logo of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics can be seen in Beijing, China. US President Joe Biden said US is considering diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics, media reports
Republicans in Congress were particularly vocal in demanding a full boycott, with Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas saying last month: “Joe Biden should immediately announce a full boycott of the 2022 Olympics.”
The Peng Shuai case has raised concerns in some circles about the safety of athletes, after the women’s tennis star disappeared from public view after accusing a top Chinese Communist Party leader of sexual assault.
Peng later posted videos insisting that she was safe in her home, although the move did not satisfy criticism from the Chinese government.
The WTA, which controls women’s football, suspended all tournaments in China last week amid what its chairman called “serious doubts” about Peng’s safety.
Peng, 35, a doubles champion at Wimbledon and Roland Garros, alleged that former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, now 70, forced her to have sex during the ‘an intermittent relationship of several years.
A jogger walks past a street decoration for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics at the National Olympic Sports Center on November 24, 2021 in Beijing, China
People walk past cartoon statues depicting winter sports ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on Thursday in Beijing, China
The National Indoor Stadium, the main venue for ice hockey competition at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, is pictured in Beijing on Thursday
Medalists celebrate on the podium after the women’s individual normal hill finals at the 2021/2022 FIS Continental Cup in Ski Jumping, a test event for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics
On Thursday December, the International Olympic Committee announced that it had had a second call with Peng the day before and said she was fine.
“From Peng Shuai and Uighurs to Hong Kong and Taiwan, China must be held accountable for its wrongdoing,” Republicans from the House Homeland Security Committee tweeted last week.
“This is why there should be a full boycott of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games. We cannot reward the CCP with the Olympic world stage,” they added.
In the history of the modern Olympic Games, there have been six full boycotts, all during the Summer Games.
The United States boycotted only once, during the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, leading to 66 countries withdrawing from the event in protest of the Soviet-Afghan war.
The Soviet Union then boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics in retaliation, citing “chauvinistic sentiments and anti-Soviet hysteria stoked in the United States.”
A man runs past the Shougang Big Air venue, which will host the freestyle skiing and big air snowboarding competitions at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, at Shougang Park
Aerial view of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics awards stage under construction in the ice and snow city of Taizicheng on November 29, 2021 in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province of China
A woman takes photos with her mobile phone of a figure skating sculpture erected for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in the Shougang Industrial Park
The White House declined to comment on the CNN report on Sunday.
Four sources with knowledge of the administration’s thinking previously told Reuters there was a growing consensus within the White House to keep US officials away from the Beijing Olympics.
CNN said the US boycott would not prevent its athletes from participating in the games.
The State Department did not respond to questions about the report on Sunday evening.