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Who Will and Won’t Attend the Beijing Winter Olympics?

As Beijing prepares for its Winter Olympics, countries including the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia have said they will not send government representatives, citing concerns about China’s human rights record, including allegations of the government’s abuses against the Uighurs and other minorities. Different countries reacted differently to the boycott. Some countries joined with diplomatic boycotts, while others quietly downgraded their Winter Olympics delegations. Russia and other countries, on the other hand, have explicitly expressed support for China.

Some countries have clearly declared a diplomatic boycott. They are the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Lithuania, and Denmark.

Some countries decide not to send a delegation for other reasons. Austria, Belgium, Holland, New Zealand, Latvia, and Sweden announced that they will not send ministerial level officials out of concerns about Covid-19. Estonia’s president Alar Karis said he is not attending the games for “political reasons.” Japan will only send a small non-official delegation and refused to call it a diplomatic boycott.

At the same time, some heads of state and some heads of international organizations decided to show up at the event. They include United National General Secretary António Guterres, and the presidents of Russia, Poland, Argentina, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan.

Unlike the leaders mentioned above, North Korea, China’s traditional ally, has expressed strong support for Beijing, but Pyongyang (North Korea) says it will not be able to participate in the Winter Olympics amid a “conspiracy of hostile forces” and the epidemic. That means North Korean athletes will also miss the games.

Source: BBC Chinese, January 25, 2022