The Biden administration announced on Monday that no US government officials will attend the 2022 Beijing Olympics, implementing a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games.
Via White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in a Monday press conference, the Biden administration won’t send diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympics due to, according to the administration, “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity” in China.
President Joe Biden told reporters last month that he was considering a diplomatic boycott as Democratic and Republican lawmakers advocated for one in protest of China’s human rights abuses.
Despite the boycott, US athletes will still get the chance to compete in the upcoming Games. The US has not boycotted its athletes from Olympic competition since its pull-out of the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics under former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday called the potential boycott “a stain on the spirit of the Olympic charter” and a “sensationalist and politically manipulative” move by US politicians.
The Beijing Olympics – the Chinese city’s first since its hosting of the 2008 Summer Games – are set to begin on Feb. 4, 2022.