Biden mulls diplomatic boycott of Beijing Games

US President Joe Biden says his government is considering a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games that will be held next year in the Chinese capital of Beijing.

A diplomatic boycott would mean that no US government officials would be sent to the Beijing Olympics in February.

Biden was asked if he would support such a boycott on Thursday. He said it's "something we are considering."

The Washington Post and other US media outlets issued reports about the matter earlier this week. They said that the Biden administration is considering a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games because of the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and other issues. They indicated that the measure would not affect athletes.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday that the US has serious concerns about human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

But she said, "Certainly, there are a range of factors as we look at what our presence would be." She added that she wants "to leave the president the space to make decisions."

Biden held his first online summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this week. The White House says that the leaders did not discuss the Beijing Olympics.

A US diplomatic boycott could become another source of tension with China, if it is announced.