President Joe Biden He said Thursday that he is “considering” a diplomatic boycott by the United States of the Beijing Winter Olympics, as various political actors in the country have been requesting.

That is “something we are considering,” Biden told reporters while meeting with the prime minister of Canada, Justin trudeau.

The Winter Olympic Games Beijing will take place from February 4 to 20.

Several Republican hawks have urged Biden to announce a total boycott, both by the authorities and sports competitions, to denounce the repression of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, China, described as “genocide” by the United States government. .

Many government and opposition officials, including the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and the Republican Senator Mitt Romney, advocate for this diplomatic boycott.

I am hopeful that the government will send a strong message to the Communist Party of China without punishing American athletes, “Romney said Tuesday.

China had vigorously protested when Nancy Pelosi defended this measure in May.

The decision to boycott the Games could lead to a further escalation of diplomatic tensions between the two superpowers, just days after the virtual summit between Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, which was supposed to establish “safeguards” to prevent their many differences. degenerate into conflict.

For months, the US government has been looking for the best way to position itself against the February Winter Games organized by a country that it accuses of perpetrating a “genocide” against Uighur Muslims.

Several human rights organizations accuse Beijing of having interned at least one million Muslims in Xinjiang in “re-education camps”.

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The Chinese authorities systematically denounce “interference” by Westerners who condemn this situation, claiming that they are “vocational training centers” to support employment and combat religious extremism.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing sources close to the matter, that the White House is expected to announce its decision shortly. The newspaper states that President Biden should “approve” the boycott by the end of November, which was formally recommended by his advisers.

The Post article immediately aroused positive reactions from many officials, but also protests from those who want to go beyond boycotting a sports competition.

Legislative initiatives against the Beijing Games

In recent months, resolutions and bills have multiplied in the United States Congress, some aimed at punishing companies that agree to sponsor the Winter Olympics, others asking the International Olympic Committee that transfers the competition to another country.

“The United States must institute a full and complete boycott of the Winter Games. The threat to our athletes and the crimes against humanity committed by China leave us no other option,” the senator said Thursday. Tom Cotton, from the hard wing of the Republincano party.

For his part, the Olympic committee American opposes such a radical solution and explains that the Games are important after months of a pandemic.

He declared that the boycott of the Moscow Games in 1980 by the United States and some sixty other countries, and of Los Angeles in 1984, by the Soviet Union and its allies, had shown that using these events as a ” political tool “was a” mistake “.

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