Canada, along with Australia and Britain will join the US-led diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing to send China a message over its concerns of human rights violation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
On Wednesday Australian and Britain Prime Ministers also announced that they will join the diplomatic boycott as other allies weighed similar moves to protest at China’s human rights record.
United States President Joe Biden’s administration cited what they call genocide against minority Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region. However, China denies all rights abuses.
Trudeau told Reuters, “Many partners around the world are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government. That’s why we are announcing today that we will not be sending any diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympics.”
Athletes from nations taking part in the diplomatic boycott will still compete in the Games in February, and Trudeau said that the Canadian contingent would have Ottawa’s full support.
Canada already has poor relations with China and is one of the world’s leading winter sporting nation. In 2018 Games at South Korea, it came third in the medal rankings.
Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Ottawa was not immediately available for comment, according to the agency.
“We have been very clear over the past many years of our deep concerns around human rights violations and this is a continuation of us expressing our deep concerns,” Trudeau said.
Canada needed to send a strong message to Beijing, said Foreign Minister Melanie Joly.
The head of the official opposition Conservatives earlier this week had urged the Liberal government to join the boycott, accusing Trudeau of taking too soft a line with China, as per reports.
(Inputs from Reuters)