The US is considering a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Games in China next year.

In response to a question from a journalist, US President Joe Biden said on Thursday in Washington that this was "something we are considering." He did not get any more specific.

Biden, 78, spoke at a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the White House.

When asked on Thursday, the US government headquarters did not elaborate on what a diplomatic boycott might look like.

It should mean that unlike usual, no government representatives travel to the Olympic Games.

The participation of US athletes should remain unaffected.

The White House left details of such a step open.

The Winter Olympics will take place in China from February 4th to 20th, 2022.

The authoritarian-ruled country is accused of human rights violations, especially against minorities such as the Muslim Uyghurs.

Human rights groups cite the Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong autonomous regions as examples of Chinese reprisals.

Again and again, boycott calls for the winter games there are loud.

There is great political tension between the USA and China because of the human rights situation, but also because of various other controversial issues.

Biden and China's head of state Xi Jinping had discussed the relationship between their countries at an online summit just a few days ago and warned of a dangerous confrontation.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday that a possible boycott of the Olympic Games was not an issue during the conversation.