Ottawa [Canada], December 9 (ANI): Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday (local time) announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
"Canada remains deeply disturbed by reports of human rights violations in China. As a result, we won't be sending diplomatic representatives to Beijing for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. We'll continue to support our athletes who work hard to compete on the world stage," tweeted Trudeau.
Earlier, US, UK, Australia and Lithuania too had announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Canada became the fifth country to boycott the games.
France too has "well noted" the decision of the United States to diplomatically boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing of 2022 and it will consult with European partners on the next step, a foreign ministry spokesperson on Tuesday.
"We have well noted the US choice and we will coordinate on this topic at the European level," the spokesperson told a news conference.
In a symbolic protest against China's "ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang," the Biden administration on Monday announced that it has decided not to send an official US delegation to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
US athletes will still participate in the Olympics, but the administration will not be sending government officials to the games. The same policy applies to the Paralympic Games to be held in Beijing.
According to CNN, the move marks an escalation of pressure by the US on China over allegations of forced labour and human rights abuses in China's western region of Xinjiang, particularly against the Uyghur population and other ethnic and religious minority groups.
Also, China is under scrutiny in recent weeks after tennis star Peng Shuai disappeared from the public eye after she accused a former top Chinese government official of sexual assault last month.
The US is looking to send a "clear message" that the human rights abuses in China mean there cannot be "business as usual," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told media persons at a White House briefing.
President Joe Biden has said last month that he was weighing a diplomatic boycott as Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, advocated for a protest of China's human rights abuses, CNN reported. (ANI)