Australia should diplomatically boycott Winter Games like US

The United States has announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics due to human rights abuses, seeing the country’s athletes compete but without any diplomatic or official representation.

“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Liberal senator for Tasmania, Eric Abetz, said that with the United States formally announcing its diplomatic boycott it was essential that Australia follow suit and take a strong stand against the Chinese Communist Dictatorship’s litany of human rights abuses. The senator has led the charge for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, being the first federal parliamentarian to call for such a boycott.   

“The decision by the United States, our close ally and friend, to diplomatically boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics is a most welcome move and one in that Australia must follow suit. Australia must not be complacent but move with speed to demonstrate our long commitment to upholding human rights and calling out where they are breached.

“From the Uyghurs, organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, slave labour, the Hong Kongers, the Tibetans, the Mongolians, the Dalai Lama, debt-trap diplomacy, the South China Sea Islands, religious and journalistic persecution to all other grave injustices committed by the CCP dictatorship means we must not give official representation at these Games.

“I particularly applaud the White House’s recognition of the ‘genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang’ as far too often countries are unwilling to call out such horrendous human rights abuses against the Uyghur population.  

“We know from the 2008 Games and the propaganda, press crackdown and increased repression that it will undoubtedly occur again under the increasingly belligerent leadership of Xi Jinping.”

In an op-ed last September Senator Abetz called for a boycott, has done so on several occasions at Senate Estimates and in August this year gathered six of his fellow Coalition colleagues to sign a formal letter addressed to the Prime Minister and Minister for Sport, “calling on the Australian Federal Government to engage in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.”

Senator Abetz is the Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee and a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security.

About Eric

Eric Abetz has been a Liberal Senator for Tasmania since 1994 and has served in a range of Leadership, Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial roles.

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