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UK, Canada and Australia also announce diplomatic boycott of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics after US

United Kingdom, Canada and Australia have joined the US-led diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over concerns about human rights in China.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that no UK government minister will attend the Winter Olympics. Britain will effectively impose a diplomatic boycott of next year’s games in China.

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau said, many partners around the world are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government. That’s why we are announcing that we will not be sending any diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympics, he told reporters.

Earlier yesterday, Australia followed suit, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying it was in Australia’s national interest.

These announcements came after the White House confirmed diplomatic boycotts of the Winter Olympics in February to protest Chinese human rights abuses. US President Joe Biden’s administration cited what the US calls genocide against minority Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region. On Monday, the White House announced that the US would not send an official delegation to the global sport events due to human rights violations by China.

New Zealand has confirmed it will not send officials to Beijing mostly because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it also voiced concern over human rights issues in China.

However, athletes from countries taking part in the diplomatic boycott will still compete in the Games that will be held between 4th and 20th February next year.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach has said that, despite the growing number of political boycotts, the IOC is pleased that athletes would still be able to take part. The presence of government officials is a political decision for each government so the principle of IOC neutrality applies, he added.

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