China warned Wednesday of a “robust” response from the communist nation if the U.S. dares to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki said there were no discussions about doing such a thing — while acknowledging China’s ongoing genocide of the Uyghurs.
What are the details?
The Associated Press noted Wednesday that “human rights groups are protesting China’s hosting of the games” and “have urged a boycott or other measures to call attention to accusations of Chinese abuses against Uyghurs, Tibetans and residents of Hong Kong.”
According to The Daily Wire, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday that “part of those Olympics and our thinking will involve close consultations with partners and allies around the world,” in an apparent suggestion that a boycott could be on the table.
In reaction, a representative for the Chinese Communist Party’s Foreign Ministry warned the Biden administration of a “robust Chinese response” at the prospect of boycotting the Beijing Games, the AP reported.
“The politicization of sports will damage the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the interests of athletes from all countries,” the spokesperson said. “The international community including the U.S. Olympic Committee will not accept it.”
Psaki was asked during a news conference about the situation, and she assured the American people that the Biden administration has “not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners” regarding the Olympics in Beijing.
In a follow-up, a reporter told Psaki, “Understanding what you said, the U.S. position, however, is that China has committed genocide.”
“Yes,” the press secretary replied.
The reporter then asked, “Doesn’t that demand some sort of response or action from the U.S., and what will the U.S. need to see before it fully participates in the Olympics?”
Psaki reiterated that the administration is working with allies “about a range of concerns we have with China’s behavior and their actions, including the genocide of Uyghur Muslims.”
What was the reaction?
Some conservatives reacted with fury over the White House response.
Newsmax reporter Benny Johnson tweeted a video of the exchange with the message, “Biden encouraged the MLB to move the All Star Game out of Atlanta without hesitation but has no problem with the U.S. participating in the Olympics in Beijing. So is it the position of the Biden Administration that the Georgia Voting Law is worse than Genocide?”
Also on Wednesday, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, both of the Trump administration, called on the U.S. to boycott what they called the “Genocide Olympics” in China, The Washington Examiner reported.
The Winter Olympics are slated to start in February 2022.