Biden government to announce boycott of Beijing Olympics this week

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The Biden government is expected to announce this week that no US government officials will attend the 2022 Beijing Olympics, implementing a diplomatic boycott of the games, according to several sources.

The measure would allow the US to send a message on the world stage to China, without preventing US athletes from competing. The National Security Council, which has been discussing the boycott in private, declined to comment.

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President Joe Biden told reporters last month that he was considering a diplomatic boycott while Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, defended one in protest against human rights abuses in China.

A total boycott is not expected, meaning that US athletes will still be allowed to compete. The last time the US totally boycotted the Olympics was in 1980, when former President Jimmy Carter was in office.

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Last month’s virtual summit between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping – seen as one of the most critical diplomatic talks of the Biden presidency – has not yielded significant advances. However, it served as an auspicious restart for relations after the sharp deterioration during the last year of the Trump administration and continued hostility in the Biden administration, including when American and Chinese diplomats exchanged barbs during a March summit in Alaska.

Throughout the November summit, Biden and Xi engaged in a “healthy debate,” according to a senior Biden government official present at the discussions. Biden raised concerns about human rights, Chinese aggression against Taiwan and trade issues.

Almost every major issue on which Biden focuses – including issues related to the supply chain, climate change, North Korea and Iran – has a link to China. And the two countries, which have the two largest economies in the world, remain in disputes over trade, military aggression, global infrastructure, public health and human rights.

Biden has long argued that democracies can have more effective results than autocracies like China, and he used bipartisan infrastructure law to show internally how political parties in democracies can work together.

Meanwhile, Xi cemented his consolidation of power after the Chinese Communist Party adopted a historic resolution elevating him in stature to that of his two most powerful predecessors – Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. He is trying to pursue an unprecedented third term in power at the 20th Party Congress next fall.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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