Australia joins US diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

Published : 08 Dec 2021 08:30 PM | Updated : 09 Dec 2021 05:09 PM

Australia will not send officials to February’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday, joining a US diplomatic boycott of the Games.

Canberra’s decision comes amid “disagreement” with China over a slew of issues that have plunged relations into the most serious crisis since the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. 

Morrison also cited human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Beijing’s freeze on ministerial contact with Australia.

“Australia will not step back from the strong position we’ve had standing up for Australia’s interests and obviously it is of no surprise that we wouldn’t be sending Australian officials to those Games,” Morrison said.

The decision, which stopped short of preventing athletes from attending the 2022 Olympics, comes a day after the United States announced its diplomatic boycott.

Read more: Cricket bids to return to Olympics in 2028

The US decision was taken over what Washington termed China's genocide of the Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang region and other human rights abuses, prompting Beijing to warn the US would “pay the price”.