With pressure growing for the United States to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over China’s treatment of the Uighurs, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday any discussion of pulling out of the games is “premature.”
After noting that Blinken has described China’s actions against the Uighur population as “genocide,” Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd wondered aloud if a boycott was “on the table” for the U.S. and its Western allies. “Chuck, we’re not there yet. This is a year or so before the Olympics. We’re not focused on a boycott,” Blinken dodged, adding: “What we are focused on is talking, consulting closely with our allies and partners, listening to them, listening to concerns. But that’s premature.”
Blinken’s noncommittal response comes days after the State Department walked back spokesman Ned Price’s statement that the United States was currently in “discussions” with its allies over boycotting the Beijing Olympics. “Our position on the 2022 Olympics has not changed. We have not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners,” a State Department official said following Price’s remarks.