United States announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics – .

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United States announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics – .


Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole Also Calls On Canada To Launch Diplomatic Boycott Of Games

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US government officials to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics in February over concerns over “crimes against humanity” and other human rights violations, said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary , opening a new flashpoint between the two largest economies in the world.

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The so-called diplomatic boycott means athletes are free to compete even if administration officials stay at home. The US decision stops before the large-scale measures seen during the Cold War and at other times in Olympic history.

“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, given the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, as well as other human rights violations humans, ”Psaki told reporters on Monday.

Psaki said officials back home are sending a “clear message” that “the status quo” is not appropriate due to US human rights concerns. Athletes who have trained and “donated a lot of blood, sweat and tears to prepare for these Olympics” should be allowed to compete, Psaki said.

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Conservative Party of Canada leader Erin O’Toole is also calling on Canada’s federal government to take a stand on the February games.

At a Monday morning press conference, O’Toole said he was calling on the Liberals to join their allies in a diplomatic boycott of the games. “We are proposing a diplomatic boycott. It is the best thing we can do to put pressure on it, but not to make the athletes pay the price. “

The announcement comes weeks after President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping held a virtual meeting, the first since Biden became president. In that appeal, Biden raised US allegations of serious human rights violations in the Xinjiang region, which is home to a large Muslim Uyghur population.

The state-owned Global Times newspaper reported last week that Beijing has no plans to invite U.S. politicians to the games, which are scheduled to start on February 4.

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China’s Foreign Ministry responded on Monday that US politicians should stop calling for a diplomatic boycott.

Spokesman Zhao Lijian told a press briefing in Beijing that US politicians were promoting the boycott even before receiving an invitation to attend and had “offended the 1.4 billion Chinese.”

“If the United States insists on taking the wrong path, China will take the necessary and resolute countermeasures,” he said, without elaborating.

Australia is also reportedly considering diplomatic boycotts of the international spectacle, but was awaiting the US decision.

Reuters reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the only leader of a major country to have accepted China’s invitation to participate in the Winter Olympics.

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China denies accusations by the United States and lawmakers in other Western countries that it committed genocide in the far west region of Xinjiang, which has a large Muslim Uyghur population. Beijing has often lashed out at the United States for a diplomatic boycott, saying sporting events should not be politicized.

Adding to friction between Beijing and Washington, Biden will host a virtual democracy summit Thursday and Friday, with Taiwan among the more than 100 guests including the UK and Japan.

The event aims to bring together democratic governments to discuss their efforts to tackle corruption and authoritarianism and advance human rights. A Chinese official said over the weekend that the event would be a “joke” and that the US political system does not represent true democracy.

With additional reports from Reuters

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