Xi is expected to invite Biden to the Beijing Winter Olympics, sources say

- Advertisement -


  • As the United States and China continue to discuss a virtual summit between the two leaders of the countries next week, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is taking place in a big way.
  • Two people familiar with the matter said President Xi Jinping is likely to use next week’s discussions to extend a personal invitation to attend events in Beijing in February.
  • The invitation would serve as a challenge to President Joe Biden, and put the relationship on ice; Or accept, and contradict his administration’s message on democracy and human rights.

- Advertisement -

As the United States and China continue to discuss a virtual summit between the two leaders of the countries next week, a thorny topic looms large: the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

- Advertisement -

Chinese President Xi Jinping may use next week’s discussions to extend a personal invitation to US President Joe Biden to attend events in Beijing in February, two people familiar with the matter said.

The invitation would serve as a challenge to Biden and put the relationship on ice; or accepts and denies its administration’s message on democracy and human rights.

- Advertisement -

The White House and the National Security Council declined to comment on how the president would react to such an invitation. The White House’s chief deputy press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, had previously said that staff were working on details of the summit, which focused not on “deliverables”, but on managing the countries’ competition.

CNBC Politics

Read more about CNBC’s politics coverage:

  • Scott Fairlamb receives longest sentence ever in Trump Capital riot cases
  • GOP billionaire Ken Langone says he will hold a fundraiser for Democrat Joe Manchin
  • Trump-Russia steel dossier analyst Danchenko pleads not guilty in FBI lying case

Further complicating the issue, according to two Western diplomats: the Group of Seven, or G-7, nations are still discussing a possible “diplomatic boycott” of the Games, where athletes would participate but heads of state would not attend. .

These officials said that a joint decision on government attendance has not yet been taken.

Activists have called for a global boycott of what they have labeled “genocide games” and urged the International Olympic Committee to postpone or move the events, citing China’s human rights abuses against the Uyghur population.

The State Department has condemned “mass detention and political indigenous campaigns” against China’s ethnic minority, which is estimated to have engaged in forced labor in some 1,200 “state-run detention camps”.

“In Xinjiang, the government is a smuggler,” the agency said. in July factsheet,

In April, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that a coordinated boycott with the allies is “something we certainly want to discuss”. The department later withdrew the comments, suggesting it was not discussing a complete boycott of the Games.

But the strife still continues. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, has proposed to exclude funding for government travel for the Games in an upcoming defense spending bill. And at the G-20 summit in Rome, the US and Canada barred language from praising the upcoming Beijing Games from being included in the joint statement, according to Politico.

Reached for comment about the administration’s current posture on the boycott, a State Department spokesman referred to comments made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the New York Times dealbook summit to CNBC.

“This is the most complex and consequential relationship we have had,” Blinken told Andrew Ross Sorkin.

With the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure deal, Biden will enter talks with Xi with a home win. The US and China also pledged to work together on climate in Glasgow. Trade Representative Catherine Tai, the top US trade official, said on Wednesday that progress was being made on discussions to implement the trade deal negotiated by the Trump administration.

The virtual Biden-Xi summit, which sources said could take place as early as next week, will be the closest thing to a face-to-face meeting between the two world leaders since Biden took office. Although the two leaders were closely engaged before becoming head of state, they were relegated to phone calls as the coronavirus pandemic persisted and Xi opted not to travel internationally.

If it appears that the Western leader will not attend the Beijing Games in person, Xi may also choose not to attend, citing the COVID-19 risk, according to diplomats.

Personal invitation to the Games by the leader of the host country is customary. In March, Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, told reporters that he was likely to invite Biden to attend the Tokyo Summer Olympics when he visits the White House next month.

In May 2021, the US issued a no-travel warning to Japan as the country’s COVID cases rose. In July, First Lady Jill Biden attended the opening ceremony in Tokyo.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is the owner of NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the US broadcast rights holder for all Summer and Winter Games until 2032.

,

- Advertisement -

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

DMCA / Correction Notice

Recent Articles

Related Stories

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox