June 3, 2023

Chinese citizens walk past a sign for the Beijing Winter Olympics in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, China.

Lintao Zhang | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The United States and its allies are considering a joint boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, the State Department said on Tuesday.

“It [a joint boycott] We definitely want to discuss that, “state spokesman Ned Price told reporters when asked about the Biden government’s plans ahead of the international games.

“A coordinated approach will not only be in our interests but also in the interests of our allies and partners,” he added.

Price said the United States hadn’t made a decision but was concerned about China’s horrific human rights violations. The Olympic Games will take place from February 4th to 20th.

The potential diplomatic boycott of the Olympics stems from the Biden government’s work to rally allies to push China back internationally.

Last month, the United States sanctioned two Chinese officials citing their role in serious human rights violations against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The Biden government’s sanctions complement those of the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Beijing previously denied US allegations that it committed genocide against the Uyghurs, a Muslim population native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China. The State Department called such claims “malicious lies” to “smear China” and “thwart China’s development.”

The sanctions followed a controversial meeting between Foreign Minister Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and China’s top diplomats Yang Jiechi and State Councilor Wang Yi in Alaska.

Before the Alaska talks, Blinken slammed China’s widespread use of “coercion and aggression” on the international stage, warning that the US would push back if necessary.

“China is using coercion and aggression to systematically undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy, undermine democracy in Taiwan, abuse human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and assert maritime claims in the South China Sea that violate international law,” said Flashing at a press conference in Japan.

Biden, who spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping in February, previously said his stance on China would differ from that of his predecessor in that he would work more closely with allies to secure a knockback against Beijing.

“We will face China’s economic abuse,” said Biden in a speech at the State Department, describing Beijing as America’s “most serious competitor.”

“But we are also ready to work with Beijing if it is in the US interest. We will compete from a position of strength by improving at home and working with our allies and partners.”

Tensions between Beijing and Washington increased under the Trump administration, escalating a trade war and helping to ban Chinese tech companies from doing business in the United States.

Over the past four years, the Trump administration blamed China for a variety of abuses, including intellectual property theft, unfair trade practices and, most recently, the coronavirus pandemic.