MOSCOW (Sputnik): The idea of a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing was also voiced by US President Joe Biden on Thursday.UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing over alleged human rights violations in China, The Times has reported.According to the newspaper, the UK government is actively discussing the possibility of refraining from sending officials to the Winter Olympics in Beijing, with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss believed to be a supporter of the idea.Under one of the considered options, Britain may be represented by the ambassador but not any other official.
A similar idea of a diplomatic boycott was voiced on Thursday by US President Joe Biden. However, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee opposed calls by human rights groups to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.
Beijing has stressed that any politicisation of the Games “violates the Olympic spirit and harms the interests of athletes of all countries”.
US Diplomatic Boycott of 2022 Games to Harm Olympic Movement, Beijing SaysYesterday, 08:15 GMTIn July, Johnson said that he would not support a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games over alleged human rights violations by the Chinese government in Xinjiang, arguing that he has always “instinctively” been against sporting boycotts.
"This country has led the world in condemning human rights abuses in Xinjiang and putting sanctions on those responsible, in holding companies to account that import goods made with forced labour in Xinjiang, and I will certainly consider the proposal and debate it, but I must say that I am instinctively, and always have been, against sporting boycotts", Johnson told the British Parliament at the time.
During the summer, UK Labour lawmakers Lisa Nandy and Jo Stevens had called on the Conservative government to support a political boycott of the Winter Olympic Games if China does not allow UN investigators unfettered access to Xinjiang Province.
Nandy said the UK government was “sleep-walking” into a situation that, in her opinion, amounted to “genocide”.
"We've got the Winter Olympics coming up at the end of next year and the government is sleep-walking into a situation where they've issued very tough words about what is happening to Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang. They say it's a crime against humanity, parliament and we say it constitutes genocide", the Labour shadow foreign secretary said.
In March, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union imposed sanctions on four Chinese officials and one entity for alleged human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Beijing has repeatedly rejected the allegations.