By Thomas Catenacci –
The State Department backed off reports that it was considering a joint boycott of the 2022 Olympic Games, which are set to take place in Beijing, China.
The U.S. is not currently discussing a joint boycott of the 2022 Olympics in China with allies, an unnamed State Department official told Politico late Tuesday. Media outlets reported that the U.S. was in talks with allies to boycott the Beijing Olympics over the Chinese government’s alleged abuses and unjust imprisonment of Uyghur Muslims.
“Our position on the 2022 Olympics has not changed,” the State Department official said, according to Politico. “We have not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners.”
News of a potential U.S.-led boycott of the 2022 Olympics was widely reported Tuesday after State Department spokesperson Ned Price appeared to suggest officials were actively reviewing possible actions against Beijing. Price said a joint boycott was something the State Department wished to discuss with allies.
“Part of our review of those Olympics and our thinking will involve close consultations with partners and allies around the world,” Prices told reporters. “We have consistently said, when it comes to our concerns with the government in Beijing, including Beijing’s egregious human rights violations, its conduct of genocide in the case of Xinjiang, that what the United States does is meaningful.”
But Price’s statements were misinterpreted, according to Politico. The official said that the State Department regularly discusses “common concerns” related to China with allies.
“It’s better to go there and dominate,” an unnamed former senior Treasury official previously involved in related deliberations told CNBC.
The Beijing Olympics are set to begin in February 2022.
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