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AUSTRALIA MUST JOIN DIPLOMATIC BOYCOTT OF BEIJING WINTER OLYMPICS

7 December 2021

Independent Senator Rex Patrick today welcomed the United States Government’s decision to implement a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

“This is an important action by the US, especially as the Biden Administration’s announcement directly refers to the Chinese Government’s ‘ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses’,” Senator Patrick said. 

“The Australian Government needs to move without delay to announce an Australian diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.” 

“It would be morally wrong for the Australian Government to extend any measure of official endorsement to the Chinese Communist regime which has committed and continues to commit gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.” 

“For more than 14 months I have been calling for the Australian Government to take a strong human rights stance in relation to the Winter Olympics. Foreign Minister Senator Marise Payne and Sport Minister Senator Richard Colbeck repeatedly declined to engage on the issue, saying that they didn’t want to mix politics with sport, but that equivocation must now come to an end.”    

“No Australian Ministers, senior officials or diplomats should attend the Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Australian Government’s announcement of that should explicitly refer to the facts that give rise to a boycott – the Chinese Communist Party’s genocidal policies and actions against the Uyghur people, the suppression of democratic freedoms in Hong Kong, the arbitrary detention of Australian citizens, and the wider spread human rights abuses perpetrated against the Chinese people.”

“The Australian Government needs to be particularly clear about the Chinese Communist Party’s responsibility for genocide. The Biden Administration is quite explicit on this, Prime Minister Scott Morrison should be similarly direct in any announcement he may make.” 

“While I would prefer even stronger action than that announced by the US, a widespread diplomatic boycott will send an important message to President Xi that his regime will enjoy no respect or legitimacy while he engages in genocide and gross human rights abuses.”