The Biden administration is planning to announce a diplomatic boycott of next year's Beijing Olympics, The Washington Post reports.
The administration is set to announce that neither President Joe Biden nor any other government official will attend the games in China in response to human rights abuses.
The announcement is expected to come before the end of the month.
White House officials had been silent on the issue and refused to say whether Biden would support an athlete boycott or no boycott at all.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in May called for a diplomatic boycott as a way to avoid punishing American athletes.
“What moral authority do you have to speak again about human rights any place in the world if you’re willing to pay your respects to the Chinese government as they commit genocide?” she said. “So, honor your athletes at home. Let’s have a diplomatic boycott. … Silence on this issue is unacceptable. It enables China’s abuses.”
Is that enough?
Michael Mazza, a nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, argued that the diplomatic boycott is unlikely to achieve any kind of change.
“They are trying to thread the needle,” he said. “They are trying to make sure that with any actions they take, the burden doesn’t fall on athletes. The Biden administration also wants to make sure they are not too far out on a limb compared to allies and partners.”
“The international community must come together,” added Nury Turkel, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. “We still have a lot to do to stop the Chinese government’s attempt to normalize a genocide committed in broad daylight while the world watches.”
Biden holds summit with Xi:
The administration had held off making any kind of announcement until Biden held a virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday.
Xi was expected to bring up the Olympics but the issue was never raised during the 3.5-hour meeting, according to the Post.
“President Biden raised concerns about the [People’s Republic of China’s] practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, as well as human rights more broadly,” the White House said on Monday.