More and more countries want to boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing (February 4-20, 2022). Not by not sending athletes to China, but by not having politicians there.
Countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia and Great Britain have announced that they will not send any government representatives to Beijing. They want to send a signal that they do not agree with the human rights situation in the host country – not least because of the Bing Shuai case.
Sebastian Coe (65) is someone who doesn’t like this behaviour. The IAAF president calls the diplomatic boycott “meaningless”.
Athletes suffer the most
He told British media: “In general, boycotts are historically illiterate and intellectually dishonest. Political boycotts are, frankly, pointless.” Koe also stresses that this is not an excuse for states not to abide by basic human rights standards. I am neither careless nor trivial about Human rights. I take it very seriously.”
However, Koe thinks the provinces won’t achieve much in the long term. “There are always unintended consequences,” he says. “And at the end of the day, it’s the athletes who suffer the most.” He also believes that “it is better to engage in dialogue than to raise the drawbridge”.
It is questionable whether states can be dissuaded from the boycott announced with these words. (red)
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