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Australia Will Join The US In Diplomatically Boycotting China's Winter Olympic Games

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Australia Will Join The US In Diplomatically Boycotting China's Winter Olympic Games

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed Australia will diplomatically boycott the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China.

With just a few months before Beijing is due to host the world's best winter athletes, the competition has been marred in political controversy.

The United States revealed yesterday (December 7) they will not be sending a diplomatic contingent along with the athletes.

The White House hopes the move will send a message that America stands against China's 'ongoing genocide' and 'crimes against humanity' in relation to the Uyghur people in the country's far west.

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Now, Australia is following suit.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Scott Morrison said during a press conference that Australia's decision to diplomatically boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics should come as 'no surprise'.

"I'm doing it because it's in Australia's national interest. It's the right thing to do," he said.

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The Prime Minister also noted the China's ongoing trade issues with Australia this year as another reason to boycott the Games.

"It will come as no surprise that the Australian government will not be sending any official representatives to the forthcoming Winter Games in China," Mr Morrison said.

"For some time people have been very aware that we have been raising a number of issues that have not been received well in China and there's been a disagreement between us on those matters.

"We have always been open to meet with the Chinese government to talk about their concerns, whether it's their concerns with our foreign interference legislation or foreign investment rules where Australia takes a strong stand, standing up for Australia's interest.

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"They have been critical in Australia in our efforts to ensure we have a strong national defence force, most recently to our decision to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

"But the human rights abuses in Xinjiang and many other issues that Australia has consistently raised, we have been very pleased and very happy to talk to the Chinese government about these issues and there's been no obstacle to that occurring on our side.

"But the Chinese Government has consistently not accepted those opportunities for us to meet about these issues. So it is not surprising that Australian government officials would not be going to China for those games."

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs hit out when the White House announced its decision and warned there would be repercussions.

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Spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a statement: "The Winter Olympics is not a stage for political show and political manipulation.

He added that a diplomatic boycott is 'a serious stain on the spirit of the Olympic Charter' and described the move as 'a naked political provocation, and a serious offense to the 1.4 billion Chinese people'.

Zhao said China would take 'resolute countermeasures' to any country that boycotts their Olympic Games.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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