WASHINGTON – The White House on Monday confirmed that the United States will hold a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing in protest of human rights abuses in China, promising that China would accept the move with “strong counter-measures.”
White House spokesman, Jen Saki, Says American athletes will continue to compete and “get our full support”, but said “we will not contribute to the cheering of the games.”
“We can not tolerate the worst human rights abuses of the People’s Republic of China in Xinjiang,” Pasaki told reporters during a conference on Monday.
“We have a fundamental commitment to promoting human rights. We are committed to our position and will continue to work to promote human rights in China and beyond.”
President Joe Biden will host the White House Democracy Summit this week, a virtual meeting of civil society leaders and experts from more than 100 countries on Thursday and Friday. The administration said it would like to use Biden’s call to “announce both commitments, reforms and individual and collective efforts to protect democracy and human rights at home and abroad.”
Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the diplomatic boycott “a necessary step to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to human rights in the face of the Chinese government’s uncontrolled abuse.”
The Democratic senator from the state of New Jersey stressed that “other allies and partners who share our values should join the US in diplomatic boycott.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused US politicians of working for the gallery over the question of whether to send official figures to the tournament. China hopes that the Olympics in February will be a platform for its economic growth and technological achievements.
Speaking to reporters at the daily conference, Zhao said the boycott was a “direct political provocation”, but did not elaborate on how China would respond.