The United States Vows To Boycott The Beijing Olympics


On December 6, 2021, from the White House podium, Press Secretary Jen Psaki, on behalf of the Biden Administration announced that the United States would be participating in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics.  She said that due to the “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang”, the U.S. will not be sending any diplomats or government officials to China.  One major controversy that contributed to their decision is the forced labor of Uyghurs and other religious minorities in North-Western China.  In 2019, a Chinese leak was released in the New York Times detailing the Chinese Communist Party’s plan to detain the Uyghurs.  The Chairman of the party, Xi Jingping, is recorded as saying: “We must be as harsh as them and show absolutely no mercy”.  This statement was regarding the 2014 terrorist attacks in the Xinjiang province.  While Chinese officials still openly deny the accusations of what is occurring in the camps, they assert that it is just a re-education camp, where they are teaching minorities to be loyal Chinese citizens.  

The Chinese response to the boycott has been the cause of much controversy.   Liu Pengyu, the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the US, tweeted: “Politicians calling for boycott #2022BeijingOlympics are doing so for their own political interests and posturing. In fact, no one would care about whether these people come or not, and it has no impact whatsoever on the #Beijing2022 to be successfully held.”  Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the nationalist tabloid Global Times, added: “Why the fuss? If US officials don’t come, let it be. China didn’t invite them anyway.”  Overall, the U.S. boycott of the Olympic games is mostly symbolic, and will not change anything about how the games actually play out.  American athletes will still be participating as normal.