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A spectator watches a football game on April 8, 2021 in Beijing, China. Photo: Fred Lee/Getty Images

A coalition of Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Hong Kong advocates on Monday called on governments, people, olympic committees and athletes to entirely boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in China, AP first reported.

Why it matters: The U.S. and other countries have accused China of carrying out a genocide and crimes against humanity against Muslim Uyghurs, including subjecting the ethnic minority population to forced sterilization, rape, forced labor and torture inside detention camps in the Xinjiang region.

Driving the news: The State Department has said it would discuss a joint boycott of the games with allies and partners. It would be the first U.S. Olympic boycott since Moscow in 1980.

  • China responded by denying abuses against the region's Uyghur population and promising a “robust Chinese response” against a potential boycott.
  • Rights groups have met with the International Olympic Committee several times within the last year to ask that the games be held outside China, per AP.

What they're saying: “The time for talking with the IOC is over,” Lhadon Tethong of the Tibet Action Institute told the AP in an exclusive interview. “This cannot be games as usual or business as usual; not for the IOC and not for the international community.”

  • “If the games go ahead, then Beijing gets the international seal of approval for what they are doing," Tethong said.

Go deeper

Aug 24, 2021 - World

Kamala Harris accuses Beijing of intimidation in South China Sea claim

Vice President Kamala Harris delivers a speech at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore on Tuesday. Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris accused Beijing on Tuesday of continuing to "intimidate and to make claims to the vast majority of the South China Sea."

Why it matters: Harris' major foreign policy speech in Singapore comes at a crucial point for the Biden administration, as officials seek to emphasize the Biden administration's commitment and rally an international coalition to curb the influence of China's government.

8 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

8 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.