US President Joe Biden is considering a US diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
“This is something we are considering,” he told reporters before talks with the leaders of Mexico and Canada.
A diplomatic boycott would mean that no US officials would be sent to participate in the games. The decision comes amid mounting tensions in US-China relations.
On Monday, Biden held his first face-to-face talks with China’s Xi Jinping.
At the White House, Biden’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki said US and Chinese leaders did not talk about the Olympics during their three-hour virtual meeting on Monday.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have called for a diplomatic boycott to protest human rights abuses in China.
A diplomatic boycott would not affect the athletes, but Ms Psaki said the US is still defining “what our presence will be like” at the games due to begin on February 4th.
The US accuses China of genocide against the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority who live mainly in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
Tensions have also increased over how China cracked down on political freedoms in Hong Kong.
Biden’s comment came as he received Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for formal talks at the White House.
The talks, dubbed the Three Amigos Summit, are expected to focus on border issues, electric vehicle tax subsidies, Covid precautions and other topics.
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Last month, US Senators proposed an amendment to a bill that would prohibit the US State Department from spending government funds to “encourage or facilitate” US diplomats’ participation in the Games.
Nancy Pelosi, the high-ranking Democrat in Congress, has called for a boycott, saying that US leaders who participate will lose their “moral authority”.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton said Thursday the diplomatic boycott of the “Genocide Olympics” was “too little, too late” and called for a total boycott of all US athletes, officials and corporate sponsors.
Nikki Haley, the former US representative to the United Nations under Donald Trump, has also called for a full boycott.