Australia and the United Kingdom have joined the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The countries will not send members of the government to China in early 2022 for the opening ceremony or to attend sporting events. Athletes from Australia and the UK can participate.
The two countries follow the United States, which earlier this week was the first country to decide not to send government members to Beijing.
One of the main reasons for the US is the human rights violations of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang province; Uyghurs are oppressed and imprisoned in re-education camps. The Chinese approach to conflicts with Hong Kong and Tibet also plays a role for the US, the UK and Australia in their choice for the diplomatic boycott.
The relationship between China and Australia has not been good for a long time. Both countries no longer maintain contact at ministerial level.
“Australia does not withdraw and continues to stand up for our country’s interests. It’s no surprise that we’re not sending an official delegation to the Winter Games,” said Prime minister Scott Morrison.
However, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Australia called the move the opposite of what was previously agreed to improve mutual relations.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reported on Wednesday afternoon that his country does not send politicians or other government officials to China during the Games. “I don’t think a sporting boycott is wise,” Johnson said.