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China’s Xi likely to invite Biden to Beijing Olympics: report

Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to invite President Biden to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics during an expected virtual summit between the two countries, CNBC reported, citing two people familiar.

CNBC reported that the virtual meeting between the two countries’ leaders is expected to take place next week, during which China’s president will likely extend an invitation. 

Both the White House and National Security Council declined to comment on the matter to CNBC. The National Security Council told The Hill it did not have anything on the CNBC report; The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

The business network noted that it could set up Biden in an awkward position where he either faces the risk of accepting the invitation amid calls to protest the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics or reject the Chinese government’s invitation.

The report of a possible invitation comes as human rights groups have called on athletes, national Olympic committees and governments to boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics in February over China’s human rights violations, including against the Uyghur ethnic minority. 

Some politicians and lawmakers have already signaled their support for such a boycott, including former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.).

The State Department earlier this year walked back comments after State Department spokesman Ned Price initially said the U.S. was weighing a possible boycott.

“Well, it is something that we certainly wish to discuss and that it is certainly something that we understand that a coordinated approach will be not only in our interests but also in the interests of our allies and partners. So this is one of the issues that is on the agenda both now and going forward, and when we have something to announce, we will be sure to do that,” Price said.

“Our position on the 2022 Olympics has not changed. We have not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners,” a senior State Department official later clarified to The Hill.

The Hill has reached out to the Chinese Embassy in Washington and the State Department for comment.

Tags 2022 Beijing Olympics China Joe Biden Nikki Haley President Biden President Xi Jinping

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