Sydney (AFP) – Australia is joining the US diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. This was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Sydney. He added that this decision “did not come as a surprise to him.”
He cited a number of misunderstandings between Canberra and Beijing as the reason, including China’s criticism of Australia’s decision to buy nuclear-powered submarines. His government once again denounced “human rights abuses in Xinjiang and other issues,” but the Chinese government has not shown any willingness to speak out.
Morrison stressed that Australian athletes should participate in the Games in Beijing. “Australia is a great sporting country, but I separate sport from other political issues.”
Reviews from Beijing
China responded with harsh criticism. “The Australian government is blindly following some countries, so they can’t distinguish between right and wrong,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in Beijing. Australia violated the principle of political neutrality in the Olympic Charter. Wang Wenbin said Australia’s reasoning “in the so-called human rights issue in Xinjiang is just an excuse to discredit China,” adding that “China had no plans to invite any Australian officials to the Games. Nobody cares whether they come or not.”
Following the lead of the United States, European politician Nicolas Beer spoke out in favor of a complete boycott of the Winter Games. The EU vice-president said the EU should “not just stay on the US slope, but stand on its own two feet to respect human rights and speak out in favor of a complete boycott of the Winter Games”. Parliament for the newspaper “Funke Mediengruppe”.
The FDP politician said the diplomatic boycott demanded by the United States comes too late, and is “the least that can be expected” of the West. The Winter Olympics in China in February 2022 is considered a “wrong stage in the wrong place”. Beer said clear signals from the West toward Beijing were long overdue, referring to the “brutal suppression of the Uyghurs, and Chinese aggression against Hong Kong and Taiwan.”
Steinmeier has no travel plans
The summit of a future traffic light government made up of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP has so far left the door open on whether or not they will join. Olaf Schultz (Social Democratic Party), who elected a new chancellor on Wednesday, said the day before, one would consult carefully and in an international context and make decisions.
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will not travel to the Winter Games. A spokeswoman for the federal president of ARD Sportschau said: “The federal president has no plans to travel to Beijing.” These plans did not exist until the United States announced its decision.
The United States on Monday announced its diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games (February 4-22, 2022) in protest of human rights abuses in China. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Biden administration will not send diplomatic or official representatives to Beijing.
Communicator. Reader. Hipster-friendly introvert. General zombie specialist. Tv trailblazer