China: Raab on possibility of 2022 Winter Olympics boycott
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Conservative MP Alicia Kearns said she was “delighted” that US diplomats will boycott the Games next year as she called for the UK to follow suit. The White House announced the move on Monday citing concerns over China’s human rights record.
Ms Kearns, who is co-chair of the China Research Group of Tory MPs, highlighted accusations that China is committing genocide against the Uyghur population in Xinjiang.
The MP for Rutland and Melton also pointed to the security crackdown in Hong Kong and mounting tensions between China and Taiwan.
Ms Kearns told Express.co.uk: “I’ve been calling on the UK to stage a diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics since March 2020, and I’m delighted that the US is doing so.
“With the Chinese Communist Party’s abysmal human rights record in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, as well as its sabre-rattling over Taiwan, the Chinese Community Party’s Propaganda Games is not one that rule of law nations should legitimise.
“We know from the 2008 Games that the CCP will use the opportunity to extol its power and virtue – but that mask has now well and truly slipped.
“I hope that the Government is actively considering a political and diplomatic boycott.”
Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith and chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Tom Tugendhat have previously called for the UK to snub next year’s Games.
Ms Kearns’ comments come after the US on Monday confirmed a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics. American athletes will still compete in the Games.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said: “The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Olympics and Paralympic Games, given the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.
“The athletes on Team USA have our full support.
“We will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home.
“We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games.”
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The announcement prompted a furious reaction from Beijing.
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China would take “resolute countermeasures”.
He said: “The US will pay a price for its mistaken acts. Let’s all wait and see.”
Downing Street said the UK has not yet made a decision on a diplomatic boycott of the Games.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “A decision has not been made on Her Majesty’s Government attendance at the Beijing Olympics. We will set out our position in due course.”
The Foreign Office declined to comment.
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