, Dec 8 () –
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed on Wednesday that the country joins the United States in boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 and will not send diplomats to the meeting.
Morrison has indicated that Australian athletes can attend the competition, but government officials will not attend a decision in the “national interest of Australia” and that, in his opinion, it should not be surprising given the breakdown in relations with Beijing in the last years.
Although the prime minister has not used the word boycott, his announcement supports the approach of the United States, which confirmed on Monday that in response to the human rights violations committed by the Chinese government in Xinjiang, no senior US official will attend the sporting event. , something that is unprecedented since 1980.
In fact, when reporting his decision, Morrison has expressed concern about the abuses of the Uighurs in the aforementioned region and has pointed to the refusal of China to return calls to the ministers of the Australian Government.
In this sense, he has expressed his willingness to speak to the Chinese government on these issues, but has criticized that it “has not systematically accepted these opportunities,” reports the Australian media ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’.
Thus, Morrison has stressed that “it is not surprising” that Australian Government officials do not go to the Games, although he has defended the presence of the country’s athletes by considering that “sports issues should be separated from other political issues “.
“They are questions of two governments,” he added, while ensuring that he would like to solve these problems, although he warned that Australia “will not take a step back” in its “firm position” in defending its interests.
New Zealand reported on Tuesday that it will not send diplomatic representatives at ministerial level to the Olympics, but used mainly health reasons due to the pandemic. In addition, last week, Lithuania, which faces diplomatic and trade hostilities from China over its growing relationship with Taiwan, announced that neither its president nor its ministers will be coming to the country for the Games. Other countries have explained that they are considering their positions.