Canada has also joined the diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, decided by several Western countries.
“Canada remains deeply disturbed by reports of human rights abuses in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. That is why we will not send diplomatic representatives to the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing. We continue to support athletes who are working hard to compete on the world stage.”
Previously, after the USA, Great Britain and Australia had also announced similar steps on Wednesday. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday in Parliament in London it was a “de facto diplomatic boycott”. “As I said before, we do not support a sports boycott. There are no plans for Cabinet members to attend the Winter Olympics,” Johnson said.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had made a similar statement earlier in Sydney. He added that this decision “did not come as a surprise to him.” He cited a number of misunderstandings between Canberra and Beijing as the reason, including China’s criticism of Australia’s decision to buy nuclear-powered submarines. His government once again denounced “human rights abuses in Xinjiang and other issues,” but the Chinese government has not shown any willingness to speak out.
Everyone participates in sports
Morrison stressed that Australian athletes – like British athletes – should take part in the Games in Beijing. “Australia is a great sporting country, but I separate sport from other political issues.”
China responded with strong criticism of Down Under’s decision. “The Australian government is blindly following some countries so they can’t distinguish between right and wrong,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in Beijing on Wednesday. Australia violated the principle of political neutrality in the Olympic Charter. Wang Wenbin said Australia’s reasoning “in the so-called human rights issue in Xinjiang is just an excuse to discredit China,” adding that “China had no plans to invite any Australian officials to the Games. Nobody cares whether they come or not.”
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Full boycott an issue?
After US pressure, European politician Nicolas Beer (FDP) has spoken out in favor of a complete boycott of the Winter Games. The EU vice-president said the EU should “not just stay on the US slope, but stand on its own two feet to respect human rights and speak out in favor of a complete boycott of the Winter Games”. Presentation of Parliament to “Funk Medingroup” (Wednesday).
The FDP politician said the diplomatic boycott demanded by the United States comes too late, and is “the least that can be expected” of the West. The Winter Olympics in China in February 2022 is considered a “wrong stage in the wrong place”. Beer said clear signals from the West toward Beijing were long overdue, referring to the “brutal suppression of the Uyghurs, and Chinese aggression against Hong Kong and Taiwan.”
The summit of a future traffic light government made up of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP has so far left the door open on whether they will join the boycott. Olaf Schultz (Social Democratic Party), who elected a new chancellor on Wednesday, said the day before, one would consult carefully and in an international context and make decisions. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will not travel to the Winter Games. A spokeswoman for the federal president of ARD Sportschau said: “The federal president has no plans to travel to Beijing.” These plans did not exist until the United States announced its decision.
The United States on Monday announced its diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games (February 4-22, 2022) in protest of human rights abuses in China. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Biden administration will not send diplomatic or official representatives to Beijing. (dpa)
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