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US considers Beijing Winter Olympics boycott to protest China's human rights record

The US is considering a possible boycott of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics in order to protest against China's human right's record, according to the US State Department.

US considers Beijing Winter Olympics boycott to protest China's human rights record

Ned Price, a Department spokesperson said that the US is consulting with other countries around the world to determine how to proceed on the matter.

"Part of our review of those Olympics and our thinking will involve close consultations with partners and allies around the world," he 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, what the United States does will have an impact, but everything we do that brings along our allies and partners will have all the more influence with Beijing."

A number of human rights groups are protesting China's hosting of the Games, set to take place from February 2022.

Price would not be drawn on when a decision would be made, noting that there is still a year to go until Games kick-off.

"These Games remain some time away. I wouldn't want to put a timeframe on it, but these discussions are underway," he said.

"It is something that we certainly wish to discuss and it is certainly something that we understand that a coordinated approach will be not only in our interest but also in the interest of our allies and partners.

"So this is one of the issues that are on the agenda, both now and going forward."

In the past, both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee have been vocal in claiming that boycotts of tournaments never achieve anything.

"It also has no logic," said IOC president Thomas Bach in March. "Why would you punish the athletes from your own country if you have a dispute with a government from another country? This just makes no real sense."

The USOPC have also said: "We oppose Games boycotts because they have been shown to negatively impact athletes while not effectively addressing global issues," the governing body said.

"We believe the more effective course of action is for the governments of the world and China to engage directly on human rights and geopolitical issues."

Author: Jake Wilkin