TOustralian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday that Australia will join the US in a diplomatic boycott Beijing Winter Games over human rights issues.
This is the right thing to do
Morrison said it was no surprise that Australia Officials will boycott the event after the country’s relations with China have been disrupted in recent years.
“I am doing this because it is in the national interest of Australia,” Morrison said. “This is the right thing to do.”
Athletes will be able to compete
He said Australian athletes will still be able to compete.
Morrison not only referred to human rights violations, but also said China was very critical of Australia’s efforts to build a strong defense force in the region, “especially with our recent decision to acquire nuclear submarines… “
He said his government is very happy to talk to China about their differences.
“There were no obstacles on our side, but Chinese government constantly disagreed so we could meet, ”Morrison said.
Tensions between Austria and China
Human rights groups insisted on a full-scale boycott of the Games, accusing China of violating the rights of ethnic minorities. The decisions of the US and Australia fall short of these calls, but were taken at an extremely turbulent time for international relations and were met with a barrage of criticism from China.
V Australian Olympic Committee said the organization of the roughly 40 Australian athletes expected to compete in the Games will not be affected by Morrison’s announcement.
“Getting the athletes safely to Beijing, competing safely and getting them home safely remains our biggest challenge,” said Matt Carroll, executive director of the committee.
“Our Australian athletes have been training and competing with this Olympic dream for four years now, and we are doing everything in our power to help them succeed,” Carroll said in a statement.