Sat, 17 Apr 2021

Washington [US], April 8 (ANI): President Joe Biden administration's position on the 2022 Winter Olympics hosted in China has not changed, but Washington is not discussing with allies plans for a joint boycott, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.

"Our position on the 2022 Olympics has not changed. We have not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners," Psaki said during a briefing.

"We of course consult closely with allies and partners at all levels to define our common concerns and establish a shared approach, but there is no discussion underway of a change in our plans regarding the Beijing Olympics from the United States' point of view," she added.

Earlier on Wednesday, US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) Chair Susanne Lyons said the committee opposes athlete boycotts and believes that athletes should not be used as a tool for rising human rights issues in China.

Lyons added that past boycotts have showed a negative impact on athletes while not effectively addressing global issues.

On Tuesday, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the United States was planning to discuss with its allies and partners a joint boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

In March, 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 region of China.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said that boycotting the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing would go against the spirit of the Olympic Charter after the United States hinted at the idea of discussing with its partner a possible boycott of the upcoming games.

Responding to question on US boycott of 2022 Winter Games, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, "As to the so-called rhetoric about boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, I would also like to stress that politicisation of sports runs counter to the spirit of the Olympic Charter and harms the interests of all athletes as well as the international Olympic cause.

The international community, including the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, will not buy it, Lijian added.

US Senator Mitt Romney in March urged the Biden administration to partially boycott the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing over the reports of gross human rights violations against the Uyghur community in Xinjiang.The 2012 Republican Presidential candidate called on President Biden to allow U.S. athletes to attend the games but said American spectators should not.

The US and some of its allies, including the European Union, have imposed sanctions against Chinese officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang province. The Winter Olympics in 2022 is slated to be held between February 4 and 20 in Beijing. (ANI)

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