WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — “The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
A sign of growing tensions between the U.S. and China, as the Biden administration refuses to send diplomats to next year’s Olympic games. U.S. athletes will still be allowed to compete.
“This is a sovereign decision that each country needs to make. We fully expect that other countries will announce their decision in the coming days and weeks,” State Department Press Secretary Ned Price said.
The move comes as pressure is mounting from lawmakers to protest China’s human rights abuses.
Abuses against the Uyghur community and a crackdown on free speech in Hong Kong have led human rights groups and lawmakers to use the Olympics to make that statement while attention is on the games.
Dean Cheng, with the Conservative Heritage Foundation, says it’s the right move.
“Choosing a diplomatic boycott for the Olympics is in some ways almost the first thing that this administration has done that doesn’t make them look like they are going hat-in-hand to Beijing,” Cheng said.
But Cheng still criticizes the Biden administration for its policy toward China, and says the U.S. isn’t doing enough to prepare for the future.
“Five to 10 years from now, we will see a China whose military strategy is being fulfilled by military that has modernized according to long laid-out plans,” Cheng said.
U.S. Space Force Operations Vice Chief General David Thompson told FOX News Sunday, that even though the U.S is on top in the space race, China is quickly catching up.
“China is a tremendous threat,” Thompson said.
And Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) agrees.
“Space is one of those places where China is trying to get way ahead of us. We need to change to keep up,” Moulton said.
Thompson and Moulton say the U.S needs to adapt its approach to outpace China before it’s too late.