2022 Beijing Winter Olympics: Australia joins US diplomatic boycott

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geemong
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2022 Beijing Winter Olympics: Australia joins US diplomatic boycott

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2022 Beijing Winter Olympics: Australia joins US diplomatic boycott


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Australia has said it will join the US in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision was in response to "human rights abuses" in China's Xinjiang province and "many other issues that Australia has consistently raised".

Athletes would still attend, he added.

China has condemned the US announcement and threatened to retaliate, without giving further details.

On Monday, the US said it would not send diplomats to the Games in Beijing over concerns about China's human rights record.

Mr Morrison said it was "no surprise" that Australia had joined the boycott, given relations with China had deteriorated in recent years.

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

He accused China of rejecting opportunities to improve relations, insisting Australia remained open to bilateral talks.

The Chinese embassy in Australia responded by saying: "Mountains cannot stop the river from flowing into the sea. Australia's success at the Beijing Winter Olympics depends on the performance of Australian athletes, not on the attendance of Australian officials, and the political posturing by some Australian politicians."

It added that the blame for the current state of China-Australia relations "lies squarely on the Australian side".

Meanwhile at a media briefing on Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused the US of violating "political neutrality in sport" and said the proposed boycott was "based on lies and rumours".

Tensions are high between the two countries. The US has accused China of genocide in its repression of the predominantly Muslim Uyghur minority in the western region of Xinjiang - an allegation China has strongly denied.
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