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'strong message'

Biden expected to approve diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

The Biden administration is reportedly preparing to announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics. 

That's according to a Tuesday report from The Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin, who wrote that the White House is expected to announce "that neither President Biden nor any other U.S. government officials will attend the Beijing Games" this February over the Chinese government's human rights abuses. 

Though the decision apparently hasn't been finalized, Biden reportedly received the recommendation to take this move, and the Post says he's expected to approve it this month. The reporting comes one day after Biden met virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The White House said Biden raised concerns about "practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, as well as human rights more broadly." 

Lawmakers had pushed Biden to announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saying in May, "Let's not honor the Chinese government by having heads of state go to China to show their support for their athletes." A coalition of human rights groups also called for a boycott of the Olympics earlier this year to "ensure they are not used to embolden the Chinese government's appalling rights abuses and crackdowns on dissent." 

American Enterprise Institute's Michael Mazza explained to the Post that with this diplomatic boycott, the administration will be "trying to thread the needle," hoping to "make sure that with any actions they take, the burden doesn't fall on athletes." In response to the Post's reporting, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) expressed approval of a diplomatic boycott.

"It's unacceptable that China gets to host the Olympics while the CCP commits genocide against Uyghurs," Romney tweeted. "I've long-advocated for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games and I'm hopeful that the administration will send a strong message to the CCP, without punishing U.S. athletes."