Canada announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics on Wednesday, joining the United States and other countries in deciding not to send government officials to the Games because of concerns over human rights.

Canada will send athletes to the Olympics in Beijing, as will the U.S. and the other nations announcing diplomatic boycotts.

“As a country, indeed, as many partners around the world, we are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government. That is why we are announcing today that we will not be sending any diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympic or Paralympic Games this winter,” Trudeau said.

“Our athletes have been training for years and are looking forward to compete at the highest level against athletes from around the world, and they will continue to have all of our fullest support as they show the extraordinary success that Canada has at Winter Olympic Games,” Trudeau said.

Canada is now the fifth country to announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, following the U.S., the United KingdomAustralia and Lithuania. The Games are set to begin on Feb. 4.

Members of both parties in the U.S. have expressed concerns about the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, which the U.S. and a handful of other nations have said constitutes genocide, and the restraint of democratic freedoms in Hong Kong. The Biden administration had been under pressure to take a stand, though few were calling for a full boycott of the Games.

Asked on Wednesday if it was the U.S.’s goal to have other nations follow in announcing diplomatic boycotts, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that a country’s decision to do so was up to themselves.

“Countries’ decisions to boycott the Olympics, that’s their own, their decisions that they have to make for themselves. We made our stance very clear on where we stand with the 2022 Winter Olympics and — but it’s up to them,” Jean-Pierre said aboard Air Force One.

“It’s up to them to decide how they’re going to move forward and if they’re going to boycott or not,” she added.

China has also been under scrutiny in recent weeks after tennis star Peng Shuai disappeared from the public eye. Her whereabouts became unknown after she accused a former top Chinese government official of sexual assault last month.

 –Updated 1:50 p.m.

Tags Boycott Jen Psaki Justin Trudeau Karine Jean-Pierre Winter Olympics

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