The United States and its allies are considering a joint boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, the State Department said Tuesday.
“It [a joint boycott] is something that we certainly wish to discuss,” State spokesman Ned Price told reporters when asked about the Biden administration’s plans ahead of the international games.
“A coordinated approach will not only be in our interest but also in the interest of our allies and partners,” he added.
Price said that the United States has not yet made a decision. The Olympic Games are due to take place between February 4 to 20.
The potential diplomatic boycott of the games comes as the Biden administration works to rally allies to mount international pushback on China.
Last month, the United States sanctioned two Chinese officials, citing their roles in serious human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The sanctions by the Biden administration complement actions also taken today by the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Beijing has previously rejected U.S. charges that it has committed genocide against the Uyghurs, a Muslim population indigenous to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China. The foreign ministry called such claims “malicious lies” designed to “smear China” and “frustrate China’s development.”
Tensions between Beijing and Washington soared under the Trump administration, which escalated a trade war and worked to ban Chinese technology companies from doing business in the United States.
Over the past four years, the Trump administration blamed China for a wide range of grievances, including intellectual property theft, unfair trade practices and recently, the coronavirus pandemic.