Dec 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

A photo of a Beijing 2022 countdown sign.
Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Countries that have announced diplomatic boycotts include....

  • United States: White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Team USA athletes "have our full support," but the U.S. will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Games, citing "the PRC's ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses."
  • Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia would follow the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott, calling it the "right thing to do."
  • Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that "Canada remains deeply disturbed by reports of human rights violations in China. As a result, we won’t be sending diplomatic representatives to Beijing for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games."
  • United Kingdom: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that no U.K. ministers would attend the Games, saying it was “effectively” a diplomatic boycott.
  • Lithuania: Several Lithuanian officials have announced they will not attend the Games, per public broadcaster LRT.

The big picture: A Chinese official told Reuters that the U.S. would "pay a price," warning of countermeasures though not explicitly stating what they may be.

  • The Chinese Embassy in Australia issued a statement accusing Australia's government of "political posturing."

Worth nothing: New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson told reporters Tuesday that NZ officials also wouldn't attend the Beijing Games, citing "a range of factors but mostly to do with COVID."

Editor's note: This story will be updated as more announcements are made.

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