Hours later United Kingdom, Canada It joined the US and Australia in the “diplomatic boycott” of the Beijing Winter Olympics on Wednesday, a new setback for the Chinese regime, whipped up by Westerners for human rights abuses.
“We are deeply concerned about the Chinese government’s human rights abuses,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference, announcing that his country would join the Winter Games in a diplomatic boycott.
The president stressed that the move would not prevent Canadian athletes from participating in the Games, which begin on February 4, but that no government representative should travel to China.
The United States announced the boycott on Monday and was backed by Australia and the United Kingdom on Wednesday.
“When you have an anti-China attitude, it is important to be allied with allies around the world,” Trudeau stressed.
Relations between Canada and China have had tense moments, and the two countries have emerged from an unprecedented diplomatic crisis, with the arrest in December 2018 of the daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei.
In this situation the Chinese authorities responded with retaliatory measures.
– United Kingdom joins the boycott –
Earlier, the United Kingdom was pushed by the United States and joined the pro-Australian operation.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a weekly question and answer session in Parliament that “Beijing will be a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics.”
However, British players will go to Cricket because the United Kingdom “does not support boycotts,” he said. He emphasized that the letter was not a signal of a formal antitrust inquiry into the allegations.
There are many sources of tension between London and Beijing, the human rights situation in the Xinjiang region – the cradle of the Uyghur Muslim minority in the northwest of the country – the fall of independence in the former British colony of Hong Kong and the exclusion of the Chinese company Huawei from the British 5G telecommunications network.
Johnson promised to continue to raise the question of human rights in front of the Chinese government, at the center of the Western decision-making process.
Beijing has not yet reacted to the British announcement, but had earlier expressed outrage over the US decision and contempt when Australian officials joined Wednesday.
– “America Pays” –
The Australian government joined the effort two days after Washington, citing their ongoing differences with Beijing and the human rights situation in the communist country.
“Australia will not deviate from a strong position in defending Australia’s interests and it is not surprising that we will not send Australian delegates to these games,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Chinese diplomatic spokesman Wang Wenpin, who was asked during a news conference, assured that his country had never invited Australian officials.
He said no one cares whether he comes or not. “His political maneuvers and his little tricks will not change anything for the success of the Olympics,” he added.
Australia, like the UK, is seeking to legislate against foreign influence to veto Huawei in 5G deals and has called for an independent inquiry into the origin of the epidemics. Corona virus.
In addition, it recently signed a major military alliance with the United States and the United Kingdom, which will supply US nuclear submarines.
As in the case of the British, diplomatic boycott does not preclude the participation of American or Australian athletes.
However, the US decision provoked outrage in Beijing. “The United States will pay the price for its tactics,” said Zhao Lijian, China’s diplomatic spokesman.
– “An important step” –
Sophie Richardson, director of Human Rights Watch in China, praised the diplomatic boycott, saying it was “an important step in challenging the Chinese government’s crimes against humanity against Uyghur and other Turkish communities.”
Activists say at least one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are being held in camps in Xinjiang, where Beijing has been accused of imposing forced labor and contraception.
For his part, Zhao Lijian rejected Western accusations about Xinjiang’s situation as “the lie of the century.”
Meanwhile, the Australian Olympic Committee has stated that its priority is to ensure “safe travel to China due to the Govt problem” and a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Australia said that athletes from that country would be welcomed to the Games. They have a “better performance.”
“Australia’s success at the Beijing Winter Olympics depends on the performance of its athletes and the arrival of Australian delegates,” he added.
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