President Biden says he's weighing a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.
This means Washington could decide not to send a delegation of government officials to the Chinese capital.
"Sir, do you support a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics?"
"It's something we're considering."
His comments come just days after he held a virtual summit with his Chinese counterpart to seek ways to reduce tensions between the two superpowers, which have flared over Taiwan, trade policies and other issues.
However, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that President Biden's consideration of a diplomatic boycott is not related to his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Rather, she explained the administration is deeply concerned about the human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang region.
Human rights advocates have spent months lobbying the White House to call for a full-scale U.S. boycott of the 2022 Games.
They hope a Washington-led boycott would send a strong message to China as well as other authoritarian countries about America's commitment to endorse democratic freedom.
The U.S. traditionally sends a group of high-profile dignitaries, often led by the sitting vice president or the first lady, to attend Olympic events such as the opening and closing ceremonies.
First Lady Jill Biden led the U.S. delegation to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.
In response China's foreign ministry spokesperson accused the U.S. of violating the Olympic spirit.
He said during a press briefing on Friday that politicizing sports is against the Olympic spirit and harms the interests of athletes from all countries.
When asked about the Xinjiang issue, he said China will not allow any outside forces to interfere in the matter in any way, or for any reasons.
He also said it isn't right for the Washington to criticize Beijing about humanity.
Bae Eun-ji, Arirang News.