Canada has joined the United States, Britain and Australia, in a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Washington was the first to announce the boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing citing China’s gross human rights “atrocities” in Xinjiang.
China reacted to the US move saying it would “pay a price” for its decision while warning of countermeasures of which it gave no detail.
In a statement Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, Beijing would be aware of long-standing global concerns of genocide of minorities in in Xinjiang.
“(So) it shouldn’t be a surprise that we decided not to send diplomatic representation.”
A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Canada accused Trudeau of making false claims.
The WHO has backed US claims of China holding minorities in modern concentration camps in the province of Xinjiang.
“Based on ideological biases as well as lies and rumors, Canada and a handful of western countries have been flagrantly engaged in political maneuvering, with the attempt to disrupt the smooth progress of Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Their clumsy performance can hardly find any support and is doomed to fail,” said the spokesperson in a written response.
IOC President Thomas Bach said the Committee had always been concerned with the participation of the athletes in the Olympic Games.
Britain boycotts Winter Olympics
When asked in parliament of Britain’s decision to boycott the Winter Olympics in China, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “There will be effectively a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, no ministers are expected to attend and no officials.”
“I do not think that sporting boycotts are sensible and that remains the policy of the government,” he said indicating British athletes will still compete.
Continuing its campaign of denial despite growing widespread acknowledgement of the genocide it continues to carry out in its forced labour camp, which Beijing terms as re-education camps, the PLA regime has denied any wrongdoing in Xinjiang saying such allegations are fabricated.
The Australian Olympic Committee said the boycott would have no impact on athletes’ preparations for the Games, which run from February 4 to 20, adding that “diplomatic options” were a matter for governments.
For the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), a diplomatic boycott recognised the distinction between government and athlete participation while providing a platform to shine a light on China issues.
“The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee remain concerned about the issues in China but understand the Games will create an important platform to draw attention to them,” said the COC in a statement.
Japan is also considering not sending cabinet members to the Winter Olympic Games.
“Countries’ decisions to boycott the Olympics, that’s their decision that they have to make for themselves,” said White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre. “It’s up to them (other countries) to decide how they’re going to move forward, and if they’re going to boycott or not.”
The United States is set to host the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and is preparing to bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.