Biden, under pressure on China, seeks to send a signal with Olympics diplomatic boycott

The White House doesn't appear to expect change from Beijing, but it wants to get its message across.

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12/8/2021 9:32:00 AM

President Biden's effort is still being criticized as a half-measure, from both sides of the partisan divide, illustrating the challenge he faces at home as he tries to calibrate effective responses to China's rise as a global power.

The White House doesn't appear to expect change from Beijing, but it wants to get its message across.

Instead, Biden chose to bangovernmentofficials but not athletes from attending the Winter Olympics, and the White House is framing that measure as an effort to demonstrate his disapproval of Beijing's campaign against Uyghurs, its violent crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong and its threat to take over Taiwan.

As its influence on the world stage grows, China has loomed increasingly large in the U.S. political arena. Voters see China through the prism of economic competition for wages and offshoring of jobs, and candidates are vying to tap into the part of the American psyche that sees China as a threat to the national goal of maintaining U.S. hegemonic power.

Biden's effort is still being criticized as a half-measure, from both sides of the partisan divide, illustrating the challenge he faces at home as he tries to calibrate effective responses to China's rise as a global power. White House officials describe his new policy as"straightforward," even though it took a while to arrive at it. headtopics.com

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"It should not be a surprise that we would not go," a senior administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the president's deliberations."But we also wanted to take the time to consult with our allies and partners so they were aware of our thinking and decision."

Those allies haven't rushed to join the diplomatic boycott, but many lawmakers are applauding his decision.A large screen show President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in a virtual summit during a CCTV news broadcast outside a shopping mall in Beijing on Nov. 16.

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images file"It's the right move to make to show that we will not go to Beijing and lend our credibility to their government, or to the Games that they're producing,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, whosupervised the 2002 Winter Olympics

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in Salt Lake City, said in an interview. “At the same time, I certainly understand people thinking that we should not send athletes either. We tried that back in the Jimmy Carter years; it didn't have much impact, except on the athletes.”But Biden is also facing criticism from a bipartisan group of lawmakers for not taking a tougher tack at a time when China is brutalizing its own people and threatening to expand its footprint. headtopics.com

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., for example, said Biden should have pressed for the Winter Olympics to be taken out of China altogether.“I think it ought to be moved, and that's what he should have been doing,” Scott said.Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., widely regarded as a future GOP presidential candidate, said the U.S."should fully boycott the Genocide Games."

And Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who is running for the Senate, criticized Biden on Monday."I’m glad to see the Biden Administration take steps to hold China accountable, but this diplomatic boycott does not go far enough. China has demonstrated again and again that they do not deserve the honor associated with hosting the Olympics, and the Games should be hosted elsewhere," he said in a statement.

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Ryan had previously called on the International Olympic Committee to withdraw the Games from China unless Beijing cooperated with a World Health Organization probe into the origins of Covid-19, which was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.Though Biden is getting both support and dissent domestically, he's receiving harsh condemnation from China.

"The U.S. will pay for its wrongdoing," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijiansaid at a news conferenceTuesday."You can wait and see."That response highlights the limits of Biden's policy: China might care enough about the snub to threaten retaliation but probably not enough to change its treatment of the Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority, or of Hong Kong or Taiwan or Tibet. headtopics.com

Indeed, it would have been hard to find a unilateral measure effective enough to alter China's behavior. Already, the United States has imposed sanctions on Chinese officials in relation to human rights abuses. And experts on the topic say the diplomatic boycott is more about demonstrating American values — and shining a light on Beijing's policies — than about influencing China's actions.

"They're trying to send a foreign policy signal that this isn't business as usual," said Jeremy Bash, a Biden administration ally who served in senior roles at the Pentagon and the CIA during then-President Barack Obama's administration."I think they struck the right balance."

National security adviser Jake Sullivan and Laura Rosenberger, the National Security Council's senior director for China, did not respond to requests for comment on how Biden arrived at the diplomatic boycott. And the senior administration official said that he would"not get into our internal process."

But, asked if the White House expected a change in China's behavior, the official who spoke to NBC said the policy isn't designed for that purpose.

Read more: NBC News »

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They are sefn that way by those thst tried to overtake the government on January 6th and the red of the magabots

China warns of 'countermeasures' if Biden administration boycotts Winter OlympicsThe diplomatic boycott is not a full one—meaning it wouldn't prevent U.S. athletes from competing in the Winter Games.

US announces diplomatic boycott of Winter Olympics in China over human rightsBREAKING: The U.S. will not send an official delegation to the Winter Olympic Games in China early next year, the White House announces, citing China's human rights record. The IOC claimed “bringing sports to authoritarian regimes would liberalize them and improve democratic rights.” All its achieved has been to make IOC members more wealthy as they corruptly take money to help use the Olympics to whitewash despotic leaders human rights abuses Great News at last the USA standing up to World Bully Bots China and Russia But sending athletes. Shame the politicians aren’t getting a vacation.

China accuses U.S. of 'grandstanding' with expected diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics'If the U.S. side is bent on going its own way, China will take firm countermeasures,' Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.

China attacks potential US diplomatic boycott of OlympicsChina is threatening to take “firm countermeasures' if the U.S. proceeds with a diplomatic boycott of February's Beijing Winter Olympic Games So the lazy politiants don’t go. Who cares. Saves us a shit ton of money. They shouldn’t be there anyhow. None of them from any countries shouldn’t be there. It’s the Olympics not the useless UN. hypersonic missles? Why what happened?

China attacks potential US diplomatic boycott of Olympics | AP NewsChina is threatening to take “firm countermeasures' if the U.S. proceeds with a diplomatic boycott of February's Beijing Winter Olympic Games. It accused U.S. politicians of grandstanding over the issue of not sending dignitaries to attend the Games. To bad 😞

China threatens US over diplomatic boycott to Beijing OlympicsChina threatens to take 'countermeasures' if US politicians continue calling for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics