WASHINGTON – The US launched a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, a measured protest of China’s human rights record that falls short of excluding American athletes from competing.

The decision comes after months of deliberation in Washington about how to approach the Games, which will be held in February of next year in a country that Washington accuses of committing “genocide” against Uyghur Muslims in the northern Xinjiang province.

Beijing did not respond immediately, but the Chinese foreign ministry has previously vowed “resolute actions” in the event of a boycott.

The move was widely praised by human rights organisations and lawmakers in the United States, where President Joe Biden has been pressed to speak out against Chinese human rights violations.

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