After the United States, Great Britain and Australia, Canada will not send any official government representatives to Beijing for the Winter Olympics.
Canada has also joined the diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022, as decided by several Western countries.
“Canada is deeply disturbed by reports of human rights violations in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote via Twitter on Wednesday. “That’s why we’re not going to send diplomatic representatives to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. We continue to support our athletes who work hard to compete on the world stage.”
Earlier, after USA, Great Britain and Australia had also announced similar steps on Wednesday. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament in London on Wednesday it is “effectively a diplomatic boycott”. “As I said earlier, we do not support sports boycotts. But there are no plans for cabinet members to participate in the Winter Olympics,” Johnson said.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had earlier made a similar statement in Sydney. He said the decision was “not a surprise” to him. He cited several misunderstandings between Canberra and Beijing as the reason, including China’s criticism of Australia’s decision to buy nuclear-powered submarines. His government again condemned “human rights violations in Xinjiang and other issues”, but the Chinese government showed no willingness to speak.
everyone participates in the game
Australian athletes – like British athletes – should attend the Games in Beijing, Morrison insisted. “Australia is a great sporting nation, but I put sports and other political issues aside.”
China responded with heavy criticism of Down Under’s decision. “The Australian government blindly follows some countries so that it cannot differentiate between right and wrong,” Foreign Office spokesman Wang Wenbin said in Beijing on Wednesday. Australia violated the principle of political neutrality in the Olympic Charter. “Australia’s argument with the so-called human rights issue in Xinjiang is an excuse to defame China,” Wang Wenbin said, adding that China never had any plans to invite an Australian official to the Games. No one cares whether anyone comes or not.”
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Completely boycott an issue?
Following the US push, European politician Nicola Beer (FDP) spoke out in favor of a complete boycott of the Winter Games. The European Union must “not only stay in the slipperiness of the United States, but also stand on its back legs to comply with human rights and speak out in favor of a complete boycott of the Winter Games”, the EU vice-president said. Parliament for the newspapers of “Funke Mediengruppe” (Wednesday).
The diplomatic boycott demanded by the United States is coming of late, the FDP politician said, and is “the lowest” that can be expected from the West. The February 2022 Winter Olympics in China are “a wrong stage in the wrong place”. Clear signals from the West toward Beijing are long overdue, Beer said, referring to the “brutal repression of the Uighurs, Chinese aggression against Hong Kong and Taiwan”.
The top of a future traffic light government, made up of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, has so far left it open whether they will join the boycott. Olaf Scholz (SPD), elected as the new federal chancellor on Wednesday, said a day earlier that one would consult and make a decision carefully and within the international context. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is not flying for the Winter Games. “The federal president has no plans to visit Beijing,” said a spokesman for the federal president of ARD “Sportschau”. “These plans did not exist until the US announced its decision.”
The US on Monday announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games (February 4-22, 2022) in protest of human rights violations in China. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden’s administration would not send a diplomatic or official representative to Beijing. (dpa)
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