Canada will join the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights violations perpetrated by the Chinese regime., as announced this Wednesday by the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“We are deeply concerned about the human rights violations by the Chinese government. (…) That is why we announced today that we will not send any diplomatic representation to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing this winter, “said the Canadian president at a press conference.
The announcement came after The White House, the Australian government and the British government will confirm the diplomatic boycott of the Games that will take place next February, as a sign of protest against Chinese human rights abuses. The Asian giant, meanwhile, promised to react with “firm countermeasures.”
Trudeau said his government had talks with its allies about it in recent months.
In neither case does the diplomatic boycott affect sports contests or prevent the participation of British, American, Australian or Canadian athletes.
Human rights groups called for a full boycott of the Beijing Winter Games, citing human rights violations committed by China’s regime against the Uighur minority in the northwestern province of Xinjiang., which some have described as genocide. They also point to Beijing’s crackdown on democratic protests in Hong Kong and the extensive crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous territory.
The White House confirmed on Monday that it was organizing a diplomatic boycott of upcoming games and Australia followed suit on Wednesday, with the prime minister Scott morrison saying it was “in the national interest of Australia”.
“As I have said before, we do not support sports boycotts, but there are no plans for (…) ministers to attend the Winter Olympics,” For his part, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Parliament.
“The government does not hesitate to raise these issues with China, as I did with President Xi the last time I spoke with him,” he added, referring to human rights violations by the Xi Jinping regime.
Relations between Canada and China have been bad since the Xi Jinping regime detained two Canadians in China in December 2018., shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies chief financial officer and daughter of the company’s founder, on an extradition request from the United States.
Many countries described China’s action as “hostage policy”While Beijing has described the charges against Huawei and Meng as a politically motivated attempt to curb the Asian giant’s economic and technological development.
China, the United States, and Canada essentially completed a high-risk prisoner swap earlier this year.But the reputation of the Chinese government has been seriously tarnished in Canada.
“Nobody cares whether or not they come” the political representatives, said on Wednesday a spokesman for Chinese diplomacy, Wang wenbin, reacting to the Canberra announcement. “His political maneuvers and his little tricks will not change anything to the success of the Olympic Games,” he added.
China’s diplomatic spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, accused the United States of violating the principle of political neutrality in sport. “The attempt by the United States to interfere in the Winter Olympics due to its ideological bias, based on lies and rumors, only highlights its harmful intentions,” said the spokesman.
“The United States will pay the price for its bad pasts”, he claimed. “Stay tuned,” he replied when asked about China’s retaliation, again calling Western accusations about the situation in Xinjiang a “lie of the century”.
Due to China’s restrictions on the entry of foreigners for the fight against covid-19, Few world leaders are expected to travel to Beijing except for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who accepted an invitation from his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
With information from AP and AFP