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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Canada joins US and allies in boycotting Beijing Olympics

by Rob Gillies

TORONTO (AP) – Canada will join a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights concerns in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday.

The announcement comes after the White House, the Australian government and the UK government in February confirmed a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games in protest of Chinese human rights abuses. China has vowed to respond with a “firm retaliation”.

Trudeau said his government has been in talks with allies about this in recent months.

“We are deeply concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government,” Trudeau said.

“They shouldn’t be surprised that we won’t be sending any diplomatic representation.”

Diplomatic moves by Canada, the US, the UK and Australia do not affect the ability of their athletes to compete in the Games.

Rights groups have called for a complete boycott of the Beijing Winter Games, which some have called genocide, citing Chinese human rights abuses against their Uighur minority in northwestern Xinjiang province. They also point to Beijing’s suppression of democratic protests in Hong Kong and widespread crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous region.

The White House confirmed on Monday it was carrying out a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Games and Australia followed suit on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying it was “in Australia’s national interest.”

Relations between Canada and China have been strained since China arrested two Canadians in December 2018 after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies and the daughter of the company’s founder, over a US extradition request. immediately after. Several countries have dubbed China’s actions “hostage politics”, while China has described the allegations against Huawei and Meng as a politically motivated attempt to stifle China’s economic and technological development.

China, the US and Canada essentially completed a high-stakes prisoner swap earlier this year, but the reputation of the Chinese government in Canada has been severely tarnished.

“The concern about arbitrary detention is real and shared by many countries around the world,” Trudeau said.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie said more countries needed to take similar action.

“It’s important to send a strong signal to China,” Jolie said. “Violation of human rights is not acceptable.”

World Nation News Desk
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