U.S. floats Olympic boycott

WASHINGTON (Axios): The U.S. today raised the prospect of a joint boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.

“A coordinated approach will not only be in our interest but also in the interest of our allies and partners,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price. (CNBC)

Why it matters: An Olympics boycott by the U.S. and its allies could help persuade the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang, human rights lawyer Djaouida Siaci tells Axios’ Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian.

This would be the first U.S. boycott of a Games since Moscow in 1980.

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney has called for an economic and diplomatic boycott.

The big picture: Secretary of State Tony Blinken warned Beijing last month that the U.S. is willing to “push back”:

“China uses coercion and aggression to systematically erode autonomy in Hong Kong, undercut democracy in Taiwan, abuse human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and assert maritime claims in the South China Sea that violate international law.”

Between the lines: Price said in a follow-up tweet that “we don’t have any announcement regarding the Beijing Olympics … but we will continue to consult closely with allies and partners to define our common concerns and establish our shared approach to the PRC.”

What’s next: Pay attention to whether Beijing seeks to pressure U.S. companies and Olympics sponsors.

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