Australia considers diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia is contemplating not sending any authorities officers to the Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing subsequent yr following calls from lawmakers for an official diplomatic boycott, the Sydney Morning Herald mentioned in a report on Thursday.

Australian politicians from the ruling Liberal-Nationwide coalition and the opposition Labor get together are urging the federal authorities to boycott the occasion, which will likely be held in February, the newspaper reported with out citing a supply.

“A call on (Australia’s) illustration on the Beijing Winter Olympics is but to be made,” a spokesperson for Sports activities Minister Richard Colbeck mentioned in an emailed response. Australia’s international affairs division didn’t reply to a request looking for remark.

China firmly opposes the politicisation of the Olympics, international ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian instructed a briefing on Thursday. Makes an attempt at a boycott is not going to succeed, he added.

In opposition to the backdrop of US considerations about China’s human rights report, President Joe Biden final week mentioned the US was contemplating a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics.

A diplomatic boycott would contain not sending a delegation of officers, however permitting athletes to take part.

Britain has not made any choice on who will symbolize its authorities on the Olympics, however Prime Minister Boris Johnson doesn’t assist the thought of boycotts, his spokesman mentioned earlier this week.

The Australian authorities will await the Biden administration’s choice earlier than any dedication to a diplomatic boycott, the report within the Sydney Morning Herald mentioned.

Each the US and Britain are allies of Australia and the international locations in September entered right into a safety partnership to assist Australia construct nuclear submarines. The trilateral deal riled China, the most important rising energy within the Indo-Pacific area.

Australia’s relationship with China, its largest buying and selling companion, soured after it banned Huawei Applied sciences Co Ltd from its 5G broadband community in 2018 and known as for an impartial investigation into the origins of COVID-19. Beijing responded by imposing tariffs on a number of Australian commodities.

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