(Bloomberg) – Australia to join US-led diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics to protest the country’s alleged human rights violations, in a bid to further worsen relations between the two countries.
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision makes Australia the first major country to follow the United States in deciding not to send officials to the show from February 4 – when both will allow their athletes to participate. The move also comes after China threatened the United States with retaliation, warning that ties between the world’s two largest economies could suffer.
“The human rights violations in Xinjiang and many other issues that Australia has consistently raised, we were very happy and very happy to discuss these issues with the Chinese government,” Morrison told reporters on Wednesday in Sydney.
“But the Chinese government still has not accepted these opportunities for us to meet on these issues,” he said, adding that it should not be surprising that Australian officials “therefore do not follow suit. China for these games “.
The Biden administration’s decision to a diplomatic boycott has left many US allies trying to balance relations with its US security partner and China, a major source of trade.
New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said the government told China in October it would not send any diplomatic representatives, citing a range of factors “primarily related to Covid”. Canadian Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge said after the U.S. announcement that the government was discussing the issue with other countries, but no decision had been made, CTV News reported.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tokyo will act in its national interests and his government has taken no decision. His government is considering sending lower-level officials to the games, the Sankei newspaper reported.
Under Morrison’s watch, Australia’s relations with China – its largest trading partner – have collapsed following his government’s call last year for independent investigators to enter Wuhan to probe the origins of the coronavirus. Beijing has inflicted a series of trade retaliations, including crippling tariffs on Australian barley and wine, while blocking coal shipments.
Morrison said he wanted to discuss their issues with China, “whether it is their concerns about our foreign interference laws or the foreign investment rules where Australia is taking a strong stance.”
“They have played a vital role in Australia in our efforts to ensure we have a strong national defense force,” he said. âMore recently to our decision to acquire nuclear powered submarines.
Earlier Wednesday, media outlets including News Corp. reported that last month millions of homes were on the verge of losing power after a major power grid was hit by a ransomware attack that allegedly was the work of Chinese pirates. When asked about it, Morrison said he did not draw any conclusions about the origins of the cyberattack.
US plans diplomatic boycott of Beijing Games, lets athletes go
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the United States has decided not to send any diplomatic or official representation “given the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, as well. than other human rights violations, “referring to China by its official name.
China regularly responds to accusations of genocide made by the US government and others, calling them “the lie of the century.”
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