Australia considers an “unofficial” boycott of next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics and assumes it will not send any official to the event, amid concerns about the situation of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, which was published Thursday (11.25.2021) in Sydney. Morning Herald.
The newspaper said various lawmakers from the ruling National Liberal coalition as well as from the Labor Party have asked Executive Scott Morrison to adopt a formal diplomatic boycott similar to those being considered by the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
The Sydney Morning Herald explained that the option the Canberra CEO is considering is an “informal” boycott, which, like diplomacy, involves sending athletes rather than their officials, although not named.
The newspaper added that Australia is waiting for the United States to impose a diplomatic boycott, in response to the human rights situations in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang, to take a similar decision and in line with the position of its allies.
Requests have increased in Australia to boycott the Beijing Olympics over concerns about the whereabouts of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who denounced sexual assault by former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on November 2.
Australian Sports Minister Ricard Kolbeck said that while China needed to respond “transparently and responsibly” to Bing’s case, he made clear that “the decision on government representation at these Winter Games has yet to be made”.
Australia maintains tense relations with China for diplomatic, geopolitical and trade reasons, which were exacerbated last September by the announcement of a defense pact between Canberra, Washington and London to confront Beijing in the Indo-Pacific region.
Likewise, Beijing has adopted trade measures against key Australian products, while Canberra has passed laws in recent years to prevent alleged espionage and interference from the Asian giant.
Australia also protested the arrest of a Chinese-Australian writer in China and expressed reservations about the expansion of Chinese technology company Huawei to co-develop 5G technology networks.
GC (EFE, Reuters, The Sydney Morning Herald)
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