Winter Olympics in Beijing 2022: Canada also joins diplomatic boycott

Canada has also joined the diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022, decided by several Western countries.

“Canada remains deeply concerned about reports of human rights violations in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “That is why we are 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 the US, Britain and Australia had also announced corresponding steps on Wednesday. It is “effectively a diplomatic boycott,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in Parliament in London on Wednesday. “As I said before, we do not support a sports boycott. But there are no plans for cabinet members to attend the Winter Olympics, ”Johnson said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had previously made a similar statement in Sydney. This decision “was not a surprise” to him, he added. He cited a series of misunderstandings between Canberra and Beijing as the reason, including China’s criticism of Australia’s decision to buy nuclear-powered submarines. His government again denounced “human rights violations in Xinjiang and other issues,” but the Chinese government has shown no willingness to speak up.

Everybody participates in sport.

Australian athletes, like British athletes, should participate in the Beijing games, Morrison stressed. “Australia is a great sports nation, but I keep sports and other political issues separate.”

China responded with massive criticism of Down Under’s decision. “The Australian government blindly follows certain countries so that it cannot tell right from wrong,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in Beijing on Wednesday. Australia violated the principle of political neutrality in the Olympic Charter. Australia’s reasoning “with the so-called human rights problem in Xinjiang is just an excuse to smear China,” Wang Wenbin said, adding that “China never had plans to invite any Australian officials to the games. it matters if they come or not. “

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Is full boycott a problem?

Following the American push, European politician Nicola Beer (FDP) had spoken out in favor of a total boycott of the Winter Games. The European Union must “not only remain in the wake of the United States, but stand on its hind legs for the observance of human rights and speak out in favor of a total boycott of the Winter Games,” said the EU Vice President. . Parliament to the “Funke Mediengruppe” newspapers (Wednesday).

The diplomatic boycott demanded by the United States is late, said the FDP politician, and is “the least” that can be expected from the West. The Winter Olympics in China in February 2022 are “a wrong setting in the wrong place.” Clear signals from the West towards Beijing are long overdue, Beer said, referring to the “brutal crackdown on Uighurs, Chinese aggression against Hong Kong and Taiwan.”

The cusp of the future semaphore government formed by the SPD, the Greens and the FDP has so far left open whether they will join the boycott. Olaf Scholz (SPD), who was elected the new Federal Chancellor on Wednesday, had said the day before that it would be consulted carefully and in an international context and decisions would be made. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will not fly to the Winter Games. “There are no plans of the federal president to travel to Beijing,” said a spokeswoman for the federal president of the ARD “Sportschau”. “These plans did not exist until the United States announced its decision.”

The United States announced on Monday a diplomatic boycott of the Games in Beijing (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 diplomatic or official representatives to Beijing. (dpa)

Jamie Franklin

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