English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Australia joins US in boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics, Japan likely to follow suit

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government. (Photo: BBC)

Australia will join the United States in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games in February and Japan is likely to follow suit while other western allies are discussing similar moves in protest against China's poor human rights record.

The decision of the United States to not send its government officials to Beijing for the Games comes merely weeks after US President Joe Biden held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping to ease tensions between the two countries.

The US decision was taken over what Washington termed China's “genocide” of the Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang region.

China hit back, with its official spokesman Zhao Lijian saying,  "The United States will pay a price for its mistaken acts. Let's all wait and see."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision for the diplomatic boycott of the games has been taken China has refused to re-open diplomatic channels to discuss alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region and Beijing's moves against Australian imports.

"Australia will not step back from the strong position we've had standing up for Australia's interests and obviously it is of no surprise that we wouldn't be sending Australian officials to those Games," Morrison said.

Japan is considering not sending cabinet members to the event after the United States announced its diplomatic boycott, the Sankei Shimbun daily said on Wednesday, citing unidentified government sources.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said it would not impact the team's preparations.

"Getting the athletes to Beijing safely, competing safely and bringing them home safely remains our greatest challenge," AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said.

About 40 Australian athletes are expected to compete in the Beijing Games, which open on February 4, with AOC support staff accompanying them.

Similarly, US athletes are also expected to participate in the Winter Olympics. 

Also read:  Shocking report on Uyghurs reveals mass rape, sexual abuse and torture in Xinjiang