The United States is working with its allies on how to deal with China’s human rights record, as well as how to tackle the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.
An Olympic boycott to protest China’s human rights violations was initially proposed by the US State Department, but a senior official later claimed that such a boycott had not been addressed.
The US stance on the 2022 Olympics has not changed, according to the official, but the administration is in constant touch with allies and partners about their mutual concerns about China.
The consultations, according to department spokesman Ned Price, are being held in order to present a united front.
“Part of our review of those Olympics and our thinking will involve close consultations with partners and allies around the world,” Mr Price told reporters.
Human rights organisations are protesting China’s hosting of the 2022 Olympic Games, which will begin in February.
They also called for a diplomatic or outright boycott of the event to draw attention to alleged Chinese human rights violations against Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Hong Kong citizens.
Mr Price refused to say when a decision on the Olympics will be taken, but noted that the Games are already almost a year away.
“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 is on the agenda, both now and going forward.”
The Winter Olympics in Beijing begin on February 4, 2022, and China has dismissed all allegations of human rights violations.
The boycott is said to be motivated by “political reasons.”
The International Olympic Committee has consulted with rights groups and advised them that the Olympic body must remain politically “neutral.”
The IOC has notified them that China has issued “assurances” about human rights conditions.
Both the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee have previously stated their opposition to boycotts.
In March, IOC President Thomas Bach claimed that boycotts have never succeeded in the past.
“It also has no logic,” he said.
“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 efficacy of boycotts has been challenged by the USOPC.
“We oppose Games boycotts because they have been shown to negatively impact athletes while not effectively addressing global issues,” it 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.”
Source: ABC World News