Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week that the United States was also discussing what to do with its allies, hinting at an even broader front. Such a diplomatic boycott would deprive President Xi of some of the glory of hosting top world leaders at a glittering gathering as he amassed power at home.
A diplomatic boycott would also have the advantage of creating opinion without harming the athletes. A generation of competitors on both sides of the globe remember US sports’ total boycott of the Moscow Summer Olympics in 1980 and the eastern bloc’s tit-for-tat attack in Los Angeles in 1984. are tragedies.
This time around, relations are at their lowest point since the US and China established diplomatic ties in 1978. Olympics attendance did not appear between Biden and Xi in their marathon conversation. them on Monday, according to US officials – but that would be a real surprise if Biden ends up on his trans-Pacific trip.