“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics,” Jen Psaki said, noting that this decision does not cover US athletes who will be free to travel to compete in Beijing.
The diplomatic boycott would still allow American athletes to compete and ultimately would not affect the games’ proceedings, although a number of American athletes support the cause, declaring Beijing’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims to be ‘abysmal.’
No American president has actually boycotted the Olympics since Jimmy Carter’s boycotted Moscow Olympics in 1980.
White House spokeswoman said that Team USA has the administration’s ‘full support,’ and that the administration will root for them at home.
While vowing to cheer on the competing American athletes, Psaki lamented that sending a delegation would treat the Olympics as business as usual,’ and the United States just ‘simply can’t do that,’ citing Beijing’s human rights violations, including ‘genocide and crimes against humanity.’
Beijing threatened ‘firm countermeasures’ earlier on Monday should the Biden administration announce a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian also said Beijing would consider the move an ‘outright political provocation;/’ during a briefing on Monday. He declined to offer details on how China might respond to the slight.