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Australia joins diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Video games By Reuters


© Reuters. The Beijing 2022 emblem is seen on a countdown clock for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Video games in Beijing, China December 7, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

By Renju Jose and Gabriel Crossley

SYDNEY/BEIJING (Reuters) – Australia will be a part of america in a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Video games in Beijing, Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned on Wednesday, as different allies weighed related strikes to protest China’s human rights file.

The USA on Monday mentioned its authorities officers will boycott the Beijing Olympics nL1N2SR0F6 due to China’s human rights “atrocities”, simply weeks after talks geared toward easing tense relations between the 2 superpowers.

China mentioned the U.S. will “pay the worth” for its choice and warned of “resolute countermeasures” in response.

Morrison mentioned the choice was made due to Australia’s struggles to reopen diplomatic channels with China to debate alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Beijing’s strikes to gradual and block imports of Australian items.

Different allies have been gradual to decide to becoming a member of the diplomatic boycott.

Britain is contemplating approving restricted authorities attendance on the Feb. 4-20 Beijing Olympics that might cease wanting a full diplomatic boycott, The Telegraph reported on Wednesday.

An outright ban on ministerial and diplomatic illustration on the Winter Video games stays a risk, the report mentioned.

Japan is contemplating not sending cupboard members to the Beijing Winter Olympics after america introduced its diplomatic boycott, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun each day reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed authorities sources.

President Joe Biden’s administration cited what america calls genocide in opposition to minority Muslims in China’s far western area of Xinjiang. China denies all rights abuses.

Chinese language international ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Tuesday advised a media briefing that his nation opposes the U.S. diplomatic boycott and promised “resolute countermeasures” in response.

“The USA can pay a worth for its mistaken acts,” he mentioned, with out giving particulars. “Let’s all wait and see.”

The Winter Video games are attributable to start about six months after the conclusion of the Summer time Video games in Tokyo, which have been delayed a yr due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We at all times ask for as a lot respect as doable and least doable interference from the political world,” mentioned Juan Antonio Samaranch, the IOC’s coordination fee chief for the Beijing Olympics. “We’ve to be reciprocal. We respect the political selections taken by political our bodies.”

The USA is about to host the 2028 Summer time Olympics in Los Angeles and is getting ready a bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake Metropolis.

Requested whether or not China would think about a diplomatic boycott of Olympic Video games in america, Zhao mentioned the U.S. boycott has “broken the inspiration and environment” of sports activities change and cooperation on the Olympics.

The American diplomatic boycott, inspired for months by some members of the U.S. Congress and rights teams, comes regardless of an effort to stabilize ties between the world’s two largest economies, with a video assembly final month between Biden and China’s Xi Jinping.

‘THE ONLY OPTION’

Bonnie Glaser, a China skilled on the German Marshall Fund of america, advised a U.S. congressional listening to on Tuesday that until different international locations be a part of the boycott it might undermine the message that China’s human rights abuses are unacceptable.

“Now I believe the one choice actually that’s accessible to us is to attempt to get as many international locations as we are able to to face with us on this coalition,” Glaser mentioned.

Saying Australia’s plans, Morrison mentioned Beijing had not responded to a number of points raised by Canberra together with alleged human rights abuses.

“So it’s not shocking subsequently that Australian authorities officers wouldn’t be going to China for these Video games,” Morrison advised reporters in Sydney.

Relations between Australia and China, its high commerce associate, are at a low ebb over after Canberra banned Huawei Applied sciences from its 5G broadband community in 2018 and referred to as for an unbiased investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

Beijing responded by imposing tariffs on a number of Australian commodities, together with coal, beef, barley and wine.

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