Boris Johnson has said that no UK government minister or official will attend the Winter Olympics, “effectively” boycotting the games.
Boris Johnson has said there will “effectively” be a boycott of the Winter Olympic Games in China and that no UK minister or officials will attend.
The news comes as the US and Australia announced diplomatic boycotts of the games because of human rights concerns.
Johnson was pressed at PMQs, saying that no diplomats were expected to go to the games.
However, he added: “I do not think that sporting boycotts are sensible and that remains the policy of the government.”
Athletes from the countries boycotting the games will still be competing.
Johnson was asked about the issue in the Commons today, December 8.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said the “dictatorial, brutal Chinese regime” was persecuting religious minorities and “terrorising” its Muslim Uyghur population.
I welcome the Prime Minister's announcement the UK Govt is imposing a full diplomatic boycott and that UK Ministers/Officials will not be attending the #BeijingWinterOlympics. My congratulations to @ipacglobal who have called for this, I hope many other countries will follow suit
— Iain Duncan Smith MP (@MPIainDS) December 8, 2021
Johnson responded that the government had “no hesitation in raising these issues with China, as I did with President Xi the last time I talked to him.”
He added: “And there will be effectively a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. No ministers are expected to attend – and no officials…”
Australia has announced that no officials will be attending, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying: “I’m doing it because it’s in Australia’s national interest. It’s the right thing to do.”
The US said its boycott is due to “egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang.”
The Chinese government has not taken the accusations lightly and warned of “firm countermeasures,” accusing America of “grandstanding.”
China has had to repeatedly deny human rights abuse accusations against the Uyghur population such as torture and deaths inside the notorious re-education centres.
The recent sexual assault accusations from tennis player Peng Shuai against a former senior Chinese official has added even more focus on the country’s human rights.
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