US govt to announce diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

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The move will allow the US to send a message on the world stage to China without preventing US athletes from competing …reports Asian Lite News

The administration of US President Joe Biden is expected to announce this week that no American government officials will attend the 2022 Beijing Olympics, implementing a diplomatic boycott of the games, CNN reported.

The move will allow the US to send a message on the world stage to China without preventing US athletes from competing, the report said.

The National Security Council, which has been privately discussing the boycott, declined to comment.

Last month, President Biden told the media that he was weighing a diplomatic boycott as Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, advocated for one in protest of China’s human rights abuses, the CNN report said.

A full boycott is not expected, meaning US athletes will still be allowed to compete.

The last time the US fully boycotted the Olympics was in 1980 when then President Jimmy Carter was in office.

Last month’s virtual summit between the US President and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, seen as some of the most critical diplomatic talks of Biden’s presidency, yielded no significant breakthroughs, the report said.

However, it served as an auspicious restart to relations following steep deterioration during the final year of former President Donald Trump’s administration and continued hostility into Biden’s.

Throughout the November summit, Biden and Xi engaged engaged in a “healthy debate”, according to a senior administration official present for the discussions.

Biden raised concerns about human rights, Chinese aggression toward Taiwan and trade issues, the report added.

Lithuania confirms boycott

Lithuania on Friday confirmed diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics amid concerns over the human rights situation in China.

“Lithuania confirms diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 Olympics. President @GitanasNauseda confirmed that neither he nor Ministers would attend,” Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) tweeted.

This comes as human rights activists have raised their voices against China’s detention of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province and crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Earlier this year, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union imposed sanctions on four Chinese officials and one entity for alleged human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The relations between the two countries soured this year after the Lithuanian government allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in the country. Back in August, China recalled its ambassador from Vilnius, to which Lithuania responded reciprocally in September.

Recently, reports emerged that Lithuanian companies are facing problems with customs clearance in Chinese ports after China allegedly deleted Lithuania from its customs systems. (IANS/ANI)

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