Diplomatic boycotts of Beijing Winter Olympics increase
As the 2022 Olympics near, several countries including the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, and Lithuania, have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics. So far, all countries have allowed their athletes to compete. The diplomatic boycotts are a response to concerns about China’s human rights practices, especially in Xinjiang, where at least one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been subject to involuntary detention in what China labels “reeducation camps.”
Following the United States, more and more countries are declaring diplomatic boycotts for the Beijing Winter Olympics in February next year. Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said no ministers or government officials will attend the Beijing Olympics.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, who also announced the diplomatic boycott decision, said, “We will not be sending any diplomatic representation to Beijing’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. We have been very clear over the past many years of our deep concerns around human rights violations, and this is a continuation of us expressing our deep concern.”
New Zealand is not sending its officials due to the pandemic but it has also raised concerns about human rights issues in China. Other countries, including Japan, are said to be considering diplomatic boycotts of the Games. Italy said it is not planning to join the diplomatic boycott. Also, Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation to attend, despite his country being banned from competing due to a doping scandal in 2014.
As allies close to the U.S. continue to participate in a boycott, concerns from South Korea and other countries are deepening. The White House has repeatedly stressed that the decision to boycott is up to the countries themselves.
74th Edition of The Monday Times (February 21, 2022)
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