US hints about boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics

The United States has suggested it will not rule out the possibility of consulting with allies about a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

The remark comes amid a widening rift with China over human rights issues in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The US has accused Beijing of carrying out genocide against ethnic minorities. China has denied the allegations.

US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price responded to a question about the Beijing Games at a news conference on Tuesday.

He said a US decision will involve close consultations with the country's partners and allies around the world. He stressed that bringing along partners and allies "will have all the more influence with Beijing."

Asked if the US is consulting with allies about a joint plan to boycott the event, Price said, "It is something that we certainly wish to discuss."

About the timing of the decision, Price noted that the Games remain some time away. He said, "I wouldn't want to put a timeframe on it."

The US and some of its allies, including the European Union, have imposed sanctions against Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.