Johnson says Britain will ‘diplomatically boycott’ Beijing Olympics over human rights violations
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said the UK would diplomatically boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February by sending no ministers to the global event.
“There will indeed be a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing,” Johnson told MPs questioned on the matter in parliament.
Johnson said he generally does not support “sports boycotts,” but revealed that government ministers were not expected to attend the games due to alleged human rights violations by China.
“I don’t think sports boycotts are wise – it remains government policy,” he added.
The UK’s move follows similar steps taken by other Western countries, with Australia also announcing on Wednesday that it would join the United States in a diplomatic boycott of the Games.
The allies have a growing discord with China over a myriad of issues that have plunged relations into the most serious crisis since the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989.
These include human rights abuses in Xinjiang and a crackdown on pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
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