UK joins diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

UK joins diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

The United Kingdom announced, on Wednesday (8), that it will join the United States, Canada and Australia in a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. The initiative brought sharp rebuke from China, claiming Prime Minister Boris Johnson was trying to discredit the Games.

The White House announced Monday (7) that US government officials will boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing over human rights “atrocities” in China, even though the measure allows US athletes to travel to compete.

Under pressure from two different lawmakers in Parliament if Britain followed suit, Johnson declared that “there will be an effective diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, and ministers and civil servants should not attend”.

“I don’t think the sports boycott makes sense and remains the government’s policy,” he added.

China said it had not invited British ministers. “The Beijing Winter Olympics is a gathering of Olympic athletes and winter sports fans around the world, and is not a tool for political manipulation of any country,” a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy stressed.

“Making the presence of government officials at the Beijing Winter Olympics an issue is essentially a political smear campaign,” the spokesperson said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will join its allies in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing to send a message to China about its human rights record.

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