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US assesses joint approach to Beijing Olympics with allies

WASHINGTON (AP) – The State Department said on Tuesday that the Biden administration was consulting its allies on a common approach to China and its human rights record, including how to handle the upcoming Olympic Games. Beijing winter.

The department initially suggested an Olympic boycott to protest China’s rights violations was among the possibilities, but a senior official later said a boycott had yet to be discussed.

The official said the U.S. stance on the 2022 Games had not changed but the administration was in frequent contact with its allies and partners over their common concerns about China. Department spokesman Ned Price said earlier consultations were taking place in order to present a united front.

“Part of our review of these Olympics and our thinking will involve close consultations with partners and allies around the world,” Price told reporters.

Human rights groups are protesting against China’s hosting of the Games, which are slated to begin in February 2022. They called for a diplomatic or outright boycott of the event to draw attention to the games. Chinese allegations of abuse against Uyghurs, Tibetans and residents of Hong Kong. .

Price declined to say when a decision regarding the Olympics could be made, but noted that there is still almost a year left before the Games begin.

“These Games are still a long way off. I wouldn’t want to put a timeline on it, but these discussions are ongoing, ”he said. “This is something we certainly want to discuss and it is certainly something we understand that a coordinated approach will not only be in our best interests, but also in the best interests of our allies and partners. So that’s one of the issues on the agenda, both now and in the future. “

The Beijing Winter Olympics will open on February 4, 2022, and China has denied all charges of human rights violations. He says “political motives” underlie the boycott effort.

Rights groups met with the International Olympic Committee and were told that the Olympic body must remain politically “neutral”. The IOC told them that China had given “assurances” on the human rights conditions.

The IOC and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee have said in the past that they oppose boycotts.

In March, IOC President Thomas Bach said history shows boycotts never work. “It doesn’t make any sense either,” he says. “Why would you punish athletes from your own country if you have a dispute with a government from another country? It just doesn’t make sense.

The USOPC questioned the effectiveness of the boycotts. “We oppose boycotts of the Games because they have been shown to have a negative impact on athletes while not effectively addressing global issues,” he said. “We believe that the most effective course of action is for the governments of the world and of China to engage directly on human rights and geopolitical issues.”

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