Senator calls for diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne has reiterated his calls for the Government and the EU to support a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics Games
Senator calls for diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

James Cox

Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne has reiterated his calls for the Government and the EU to support a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics Games.

The Wexford Senator has called for the boycott on a number of occasion, and he renewed the appeal after a pro-democracy news outlet, Stand News, was shut down in Hong Kong after a police raid.

Mr Byrne said: “Ireland and the European Union need to make a decision to be on the side of Human Rights and democracy and stand up to the increasingly authoritarian Chinese Communist Party in Beijing.

“The recent events in Hong Kong along with the genocide of the Uyghur people and oppression in Tibet show the continued abuse of human rights by the Chinese Communist Party.

“We need a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics and the EU to stand up for rule of law.”

Meanwhile, Germany's ministers for foreign affairs and sports will not attend the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, spokespeople said on Wednesday, as Berlin liaises with its European allies on an overall diplomatic boycott.

A foreign ministry spokesperson quoted German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock as saying that she was a big sports fan but that she would definitely not visit China for the Olympics during that time.

An interior and sports ministry spokesperson said interior minister Nancy Faeser had decided personally that she would not attend the Olympics, partly because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A government spokesperson said Chancellor Olaf Scholz had not decided yet whether he would travel to China for the event, adding that Berlin was still discussing the matter with its European Union allies.

Japan said last week that it would not send a government delegation to the Olympics, a move likely to deepen its own tensions with China.

The decision follows a US-led diplomatic boycott of the Games on concerns about human rights in China, although Japan has avoided explicitly labelling its move as such. - Additional reporting from Reuters 

 

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