Religious freedom advocates and prominent political figures have varying reactions after the Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics on Monday.
As the 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to take place in Beijing, China, in February, human rights organizations have urged the Biden administration to send a statement to the Chinese government over its egregious human rights abuses by boycotting next year’s Olympic Games.
On Monday, U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price announced that the agency “will not send any diplomatic or official representation to … the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing.”
Price cited the People’s Republic of China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity” in the western Xinjiang province “as well as other human rights abuses.” The Chinese government has been accused of imprisoning over 1 million Uighur and other ethnic Muslim minorities in concentration “re-education” camps where they are allegedly taught to never oppose the ruling Communist Party.
China has also been criticized for cracking down on unregistered house church movements as well as persecuting religious minorities like the Falun Gong, Tibetan Buddhists and others. China has been labeled for years by the U.S. State Department as a country of particular concern for egregious religious freedom violations.
Price stressed that while the absence of diplomatic presence “does not modulate at all our support for Team USA,” it sends a message that the games do not represent “anything akin to business as usual in the face of these ongoing atrocities.”
The U.S. government labeled China’s treatment of the Uighurs as a “genocide” during the final days of the Trump administration, a designation that has been upheld by the Biden administration.
Some advocacy groups and political figures are praising the administration’s diplomatic boycott. But others argue that the action does not go far enough. In the following pages are reactions to the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org