Ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, reports of a US-coordinated diplomatic boycott in which countries send competing athletes but not government officials mount as accusations mount. human rights violations against the host country are increasing.
President Joe Biden said last week that the United States was considering a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 games, prompting allied countries to weigh in likewise in what could be coordinated action.
Australia is considering a diplomatic boycott of the next Olympics but “is waiting first for the decision of the Biden administration”, the Sydney Morning Herald reported early Thursday morning Australian time.
A Canadian official told CTV News on Saturday that the Canadian government was discussing whether or not to organize a boycott with its “closest partners.”
Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuanian Foreign Minister, called for “a certain level of coordination” between member countries of the European Union and “the transatlantic region”, and said he did not think diplomats were ” looking forward to going “to the Olympics and asked whether the Chinese government” would accept “even some officials.
Accusations of serious human rights violations in China, such as “clear and compelling” evidence of the government’s genocide against its Muslim Uyghur population are not new, but the recent disappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has raise the tone on the international outcry against the authoritarian government of the country. Peng disappeared from public view for a few days this month after accusing a senior Chinese official of sexual assault before photos and videos of her appeared in state media, prompting expressions of concern. concern for Peng’s safety in the tennis world. The International Olympic Committee held a video call with Peng on Monday to allay concerns about his well-being, leaving some unsatisfied. Nonprofit Human Rights Watch said the call showed the IOC was “desperate … to keep the Games on track, regardless of the human cost.”
What to watch out for
Whether or not countries decide to boycott the 2022 Olympics completely and not send any athletes. Full boycotts of the Olympics are rare, but the United States carried out a 65-country boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, while the Soviet Union subsequently boycotted the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Australia is considering an unofficial boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics (Sydney Morning Herald)
The West assesses the costs of boycotting the Winter Olympics in China (The Guardian)
Biden says the United States is “considering” a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in China (Washington post)
New videos of missing Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai are “insufficient” proof of her safety, the WTA chief said (TUSEN)
Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai told the International Olympic Committee that she was “safe and healthy” during a video call (TUSEN)
Canada discusses possible Olympic boycott with ‘closest partners’ (CTV News)