Australia have announced that they will join the United Kingdom and the United States in a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. While no Australian officials will attend, athletes will participate in the upcoming games.
Scott Morrison confirmed that Australian officials would not be present during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The Prime Minister's announcements makes Australia the third country to do so, with Canada following suit several hours later.
Australian Olympic Boycott
- No Australian officials will be present at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
- Australia are joined by the United Kingdom, the USA and Canada in the diplomatic boycott.
- The formal boycott is in protest to human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority in China.
The diplomatic boycott is in response to human rights concerns by the Australian federal government and other governments involved, specifically with regards to abuses against the Uyghyr minority. It follows several months of deteriorating relations between Canberra and Beijing.
Speaking at the announcement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated:
"It will come as no surprise that the Australian will not be sending any official representatives to the forthcoming Winter Games in China.
"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 has been a disagreement between us on those matters."
The Prime Minister added "We've been ... very happy to talk to the Chinese government about these issues and there has been no obstacle to that occurring on our side.
"But the Chinese government has consistently not accepted those opportunities for us to meet about those issues.
"So it's not surprising therefore that Australian government officials would not be going to China for those Games."
The Federal Government will continue to support the Australian Olympic Team's participation in the upcoming games in February, 2022. Australian Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer Matt Carroll confirmed on Tuesday that the Australian team would not be impacted by the boycott.
"The AOC is very focused on ensuring that Team members are able to safely travel to China given the complexity of the COVID environment with our athletes departing from overseas locations," Carroll said in a statement to the press.
"Getting the athletes to Beijing safely, competing safely and bringing them home safely remains our greatest challenge.
"Our Australian athletes have been training and competing with this Olympic dream for four years now and we are doing everything in our power to ensure we can help them succeed.
"Human rights are extremely important, but the considered view of diplomats is that keeping channels of communication open is far more impactful than shutting them down."
At present Australia is expected to send around 40 athletes to the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.
More Olympic news can be found on be found on the Australian Olympic Committee website.