SCMP: Too early to talk about boycotting China’s Winter Olympics: Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Washington is consulting with its allies on concerns over Xinjiang but talk of an Olympics boycott is ‘premature’. Photo: AP

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was “premature” to discuss a boycott of the Beijing-hosted Winter Olympics in 2022, but that the US would take “concrete actions” to ensure it was not using products made in Xinjiang over its human rights abuses there.

In a Sunday interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Blinken said the US was “not focused on a boycott” but was consulting closely with allies and partners on their concerns in Xinjiang, where up to 1 million ethnic Uygurs and other minorities are believed to have been detained.

He said the US needed to “bring the world together” to condemn Beijing’s repression of ethnic Uygurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, and ensure that US companies were not providing China with things that could be used for repression.

“We need to be looking at products that are made in that part of China to make sure that they’re not coming here; but we also have to make sure that we are dealing with all of our interests, and what is the best way to effectively advance our interests and our values,” Blinken said.

“We have to be able to deal with China on areas where those interests are implicated and require working with China, even as we stand resolutely against egregious violations of human rights or, in this case, acts of genocide.”

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