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Britain, Canada Latest Nations to Announce Diplomatic Boycott of China Olympics


FILE - People walk past the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics logo, at Shougang Park in Beijing, China, Dec. 1, 2021.
FILE - People walk past the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics logo, at Shougang Park in Beijing, China, Dec. 1, 2021.

Following Britain’s announcement that it will join the United States, Australia and others in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games in February, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that Canada will join the boycott.

“We are extremely concerned about the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government,” Trudeau said. “That is why we are announcing today we will not be sending any diplomatic representation.”

Earlier in the day, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Britain’s boycott.

“There will be effectively a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. No ministers are expected to attend, and no officials,” the prime minister said in parliament. He added that athletes would still participate, as he did not believe “sporting boycotts are sensible.”

Britain and Canada join the United States, New Zealand, Lithuania and Australia in deciding not to send diplomats and other government officials to the Beijing Games.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a similar boycott Wednesday in Canberra, citing a range of issues including accusations of human rights abuses against China and Beijing’s refusal to hold bilateral talks to resolve lingering trade and diplomatic disputes.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin dismissed Morrison’s announcement, telling reporters “nobody cares” whether or not Australian officials attend the Olympics.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration announced Monday it would be staging a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which will run February 4 to February 20.

Biden said last month he was considering a diplomatic boycott because of criticism of China’s human rights abuses, including the detention of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang province and the crackdown on pro-democracy forces in Hong Kong.

Beijing has vowed to take “countermeasures” against Washington over the boycott.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.

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