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Updated November 20th, 2021 at 10:39 IST

UK joins US in 'considering' diplomatic boycott of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics: Report

In July this year, British parliamentarians had voted in favor of a motion that asked Boris Johnson government to diplomatically boycott Beijing Winter Olympics

Zaini Majeed
US
IMAGE: AP | Image:self
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UK on Friday joined calls of ‘diplomatic boycott’ of Beijing’s Winter Olympics with the US as it lodged protest against China’s record on human rights abuses. UK’s Foreign Minister Liz Truss is in “active discussion” with other lawmakers in favour of the boycott of the games to be held in China in February 2022. British ministers from the Prime Minister Boris Johsnon’s administration would not attend the Games, although some of the UK diplomats to China will, UK’s leading newspaper The Times reported. As many as five Conservative politicians have already written to PM Boris Johnson to ban any official UK diplomatic representation at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. 

In July this year, the British parliamentarians had voted in favor of a motion that asked the Boris Johnson government to diplomatically boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics over the Chinese CPC’s alleged atrocities and human rights abuses committed against the minority Uyghur community in Xinjiang province. Lawmakers also pressurised the UK leader to demand that China gives the UN 'unfettered access' for a transparent probe into the "systematic persecution" of Uyghurs. The UK's Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office spokesperson at the time had confirmed that "no decisions have been made" yet.

China has arbitrarily detained more than a million Uyghurs in the camps, subjecting them to torture and forced sterilization for ethnic cleansing. In March, the UK also made an official announcement to sanction four Chinese officials over "appalling violations" of human rights describing Chinese atrocities as  "one of the worst human rights crises of our time”. 

US still finalising 'what our presence will be': Psaki 

As Beijing’s Olympics 2022 is just three months away, the Biden administration has been planning to boycott the games. The US will not send an official delegation to China in defiance to the Olympics over Beijing's human rights abuses, and the US President Joe Biden has been given a formal recommendation for the same, Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin first reported. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki later said at a White House briefing that a diplomatic boycott would not affect athletes, adding that the US is still finalising "what our presence will be" at the games.

US President Joe Biden later confirmed with the reporters that he is “considering” a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics games ahead of talks with the leaders of Mexico and Canada. It is “something we’re considering,” he said. 

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Published November 20th, 2021 at 10:39 IST

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