Australia joins diplomatic boycott of Winter Olympics
Athletes will still attend Beijing games, but no diplomats or govt officials.
Australia has joined a US-led diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics to be held in February.
While Australian athletes will still attend, no diplomatic or government officials will attend the event in Beijing, in a clear stand against alleged human rights abuses against Uyghur minorities.
“I very much separate the issues of sport and these political issues,” PM Scott Morrison told reporters in Sydney.
“[But] Australia will not step back from the strong position we have in standing up for Australia’s interests.”
The boycott will also extend to Australian officials who are already in China.
The Australian Olympic Committee which expects to send around 40 athletes to the Games, backed the move.
AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said, “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 ensure we can help them succeed.
“Human rights are extremely important, but the considered view of diplomats is that keeping channels of communication open is far more impactful than shutting them down.”
China has vowed to respond to the boycott with “firm countermeasures”.
Seven will screen the Winter Olympics in February.