President Biden said Thursday that he’s “considering” a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. This is a consequence of tensions with China as it is refusing to cooperate with investigations into the origins of COVID-19, which has killed more than 766,000 Americans and really will be not sending high-level US officials to events like the opening or closing ceremonies. However it would not ban US athletes from participating. Press secretary Jen Psaki said she had no update on any potential action, adding, “I want to leave the president the space to make decisions.” Psaki repeated the administration’s serious concerns about China’s human rights abuses.The boycott debate has emerged following the apparent disappearance of former pro tennis player Peng Shuai, who recently accused a former top Politburo member of forcing her to have sex with him.
The topic of the Olympics and Biden’s attendance did not come up during his three-and-a-half hour meeting Monday night with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Beijing Olympic officials said that all of the preparations for the games have been completed in terms of epidemic prevention, venues and facilities, transportation and environmental protection. At this moment, several European countries have expressed their support and best wishes for Beijing’s hosting of the event. About 2,000 foreign athletes and delegation members will come to China.