Australia joins US diplomatic boycott of Bejing Winter Olympics

Prime minister Scott Morrison cites China’s unwillingness to speak to authorities officers, and alleged rights abuses for resolution.

Australia is not going to ship officers to the Winter Olympics in Beijing, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated on Wednesday, becoming a member of a US diplomatic boycott of the occasion and risking an additional souring of relations with China.

The United States introduced its boycott on Monday, citing China’s human rights “atrocities”, fuelling anger in China, which warned of “resolute countermeasures” in response.

Despite the menace, Morrison stated Canberra will be part of the diplomatic boycott.

“Australian government officials (will), therefore, not be going to China for those Games. Australian athletes will, though,” Morrison instructed reporters in Sydney.

The formal boycott dangers additional straining Australia’s relations with China, its largest buying and selling associate, which soured after Canberra launched overseas interference legal guidelines, banned Huawei Technologies from its 5G broadband community, and referred to as for an impartial investigation into the origins of COVID-19. A latest resolution to amass nuclear-powered submarines beneath the AUKUS pact has added to the stress.

Morrison additionally cited alleged human rights abuses within the Xinjiang area and Beijing’s unwillingness to satisfy Australian officers for talks as key to the choice to boycott.

“There’s been no obstacle to that occurring on our side, but the Chinese government has consistently not accepted those opportunities for us to meet about these issues,” he stated.

Beijing has imposed punitive tariffs on a number of Australian commodities and merchandise, together with coal, beef, barley and wine.

Morrison stated any additional commerce disruptions can be “completely and utterly unacceptable”.

The Winter Olympics start in February subsequent yr.

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated on Tuesday that his authorities has but to resolve on whether or not representatives would attend the video games.

The right-wing Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday that officers had been contemplating restricted authorities attendance that might cease in need of a full-on diplomatic boycott.

The Australian Olympic Committee stated the diplomatic boycott could have no affect on the anticipated 40 Australian athletes who’re set to compete.

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