On Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced to join the United States in a decision to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics diplomatically. Further, he added that Australian athletes will still attend the Olympic Games in February, but the government officials will stay at home. At a press conference, the Australian leader said that human rights abuses and problems in Xinjiang province were some of the worries that the Australian government raised with Beijing.
Morrison said he is pleased to communicate with the Chinese government about the issues. For the last some months, activists have been demanding a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games over the Chinese government’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Tibet and the political crackdown in Hong Kong. Western countries and the U.S. blamed China for detaining over a million Muslim-majority Uyghurs in imprisonment centers in Xinjiang. Some former detainees claimed that the Chinese security members tortured, raped, or forcibly sterilized.
#breaking Australia to join US in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics. The IOC is defending its response to China’s silencing of tennis star Peng Shuai following her rape allegations against a retired Communist leader — saying it will continue “silent diplomacy” @ErinBurnett pic.twitter.com/SENSLgFPnE
— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) December 8, 2021
Chinese Response to Australia’s Announcement to Boycott Winter Olympics
Instead, China denies the allegations and says that those camps are reeducation centers designed to combat autonomy and Islamist terrorism in the western region. In response to the Australian move, the Chinese embassy in Australia slammed the decision and said it wouldn’t improve already tense relations between the two nations.
The statement further said that the responsibility for the current dilemma of China and Australia relations lies precisely on the Australian side. However, in January, the International Olympic Committee said that awarding a nation the Games hosting didn’t mean that it endorsed their human rights standards. Furthermore, activists said giving the high-profile Games event to China added legality to the cruel actions of the Chinese ruling Communist Party.
Morrison’s boycott announcement follows a Monday decision of the U.S. President Joe Biden not to send an official American delegation to the event – the first nation to confirm a diplomatic boycott. Jen Psaki, the U.S. White House Press Secretary, said the government boycott was a statement protesting the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity of China in Xinjiang.
U.S. athletes will still participate in the Winter Games, but the government will not be sending government officials. Moreover, the U.S. officials will also apply the same policy to the 2022 Winter Paralympics scheduled in March in Beijing. After the U.S. decision, the Foreign Ministry of China said that it had initiated formal representation with Washington and pledged to take resolute countermoves.
Who will host Olympics 2028 and 2032 Games?
The United States will officially host the Summer Olympics of 2028 in Los Angeles, while the 2032 Summer Olympic Games (the international multi-sport event) will take place in Brisbane, Australia. On Wednesday, Morrison said that Australia is a great sporting country, and he wished International Olympic Committee all the best for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.