The Biden administration would announce this week that no US government official will attend the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, implementing a diplomatic boycott of the games, according to multiple sources.
The move will allow the United States to send a message to China on the world stage without preventing American athletes from competing. The National Security Council, which has been privately discussing the boycott, declined to comment.
President Joe Biden told reporters last month that he was considering a diplomatic boycott, after Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, advocated for one in protest of human rights abuses in China.
A full boycott is not expected, which means that American athletes will still be able to compete. The last time the United States fully boycotted the Olympics was in Moscow 1980, when former President Jimmy Carter was in office.
Last month’s virtual summit between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, considered one of the most critical diplomatic talks of the Biden presidency, yielded no significant progress. However, it served as an auspicious reboot for relations following the sharp deterioration over the last year of the Trump administration and continued hostility toward the Biden administration, even as US and Chinese diplomats exchanged attacks during a summit in Alaska in March. .
Throughout the November summit, Biden and Xi engaged in a “healthy debate,” according to a senior Biden administration official present at the discussions. Biden commercially expressed concern about human rights, China’s aggressive stance towards Taiwan and the problems.