The White House on Monday announced that it will not be sending a diplomatic delegation to accompany American athletes competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, citing the Communist nation’s human rights abuses.

“The Biden Administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic games given [China’s] ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a media briefing. “The athletes on team USA have our full support, we will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home. We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games. U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang and we simply can’t do that.”

President Joe Biden first publicly teased the idea last month ahead of his virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“As the president has told President Xi, standing up for human rights is in the DNA of Americans. We have a fundamental commitment to promoting human rights and we feel strongly in our position, and we will continue to take actions to advance human rights in China and beyond,” Psaki explained, adding that “I don’t think that we felt it was the right step to penalize athletes who have been training, preparing for this moment and we felt that we could send a clear message by not sending an official U.S. delegation.”

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U.S.-Chinese relations have also been strained by China’s aggressive posturing toward Taiwan, an independent democratic American ally that China has long sought to re-incorporate back into its vast territory. China’s recent posturing, which includes frequent military exercises, has sparked concerns that it may be planning to invade the island.

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