Australia, UK boycott Beijing Winter Games

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SYDNEY/BEIJING: Australia and Britain will join the United States in a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, their prime ministers said on Wednesday, as other allies weighed similar moves to protest at China’s human rights record.

The United States has said its government officials would boycott February’s Beijing Olympics because of China’s human rights “atrocities”, just weeks after talks aimed at easing tense relations between the world’s two largest economies. China said the US would “pay a price” or its decision and warned of countermeasures in response, but gave no details.

Asked in parliament if his country would follow Washington, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “There will be effectively a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, no ministers are expected to attend and no officials,” but British athletes will still compete, he stated.

Earlier, Australian PM Scott Morrison said its decision came because of Australia’s struggles to re-open diplomatic channels with China to discuss alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Beijing’s moves against Australian imports. 

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