Australia is considering not sending any government officials to next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing after calls for an official diplomatic boycott, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday.
Politicians in the Liberal-National Coalition and the opposition Labor Party are calling on the federal government to boycott the event, which will take place in February, the newspaper reported without citing any sources.
“A decision on (Australian) representation at the Beijing Winter Olympics is yet to be made,” a spokesman for Sports Minister Richard Kolbeck said in an emailed response. The Australian Foreign Office did not respond to a request for comment.
China strongly opposes the politicization of the Olympics, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a briefing on Thursday, adding that boycott efforts would not succeed.
Against the backdrop of US concerns about China’s human rights record, US President Joe Biden said last week that his country was considering a diplomatic boycott of the Games.
A diplomatic boycott would involve not sending a delegation of officials, but allowing athletes to participate.
The UK has yet to decide who will represent its government at the Olympics, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not support the idea of a boycott, his spokesman said earlier this week.
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