Biden says 'considering' US diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 19 2021 04:44 AM

A Chinese flag flutters via Carlos Garcia Rawlins, Reuters/file
A Chinese flag flutters near the Olympic rings on the Olympic Tower in Beijing on November 11, 2021. Carlos Garcia Rawlins, Reuters/file

President Joe Biden said Thursday he's "considering" a US diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

That is "something we are considering," Biden told reporters while meeting with Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, at the White House. The Beijing Olympics take place next February.

Biden's comment followed a video link summit with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping late Monday, during which the two leaders said they wanted to ensure stability and prevent accidental conflicts.

However, Biden is under pressure at home to show toughness over China's human rights abuses.

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that the Biden administration would soon announce a diplomatic boycott, meaning that while athletes would still compete, government representatives would not be in the stands.

White House officials said that the issue was not raised during the Biden-Xi virtual summit.