December 8, 2021, 7:23 a.m. Olympia
Nicola Beer (FDP), Vice-President of the European Parliament. Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa (Photo: dpa)
Directly from the dpa news channel
Brussels (dpa) - One day after the US advance, the European politician Nicola Beer even spoke out in favor of a complete boycott of the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
The European Union should "not only stay in the slipstream of the USA, but stand up for the observance of human rights and speak out in favor of a complete boycott of the Winter Games," said the Vice-President of the EU Parliament in the newspapers of the "Funke Mediengruppe" .
The diplomatic boycott demanded by the USA is coming late, said the FDP politician, and is "the least" that can be expected from the West. The Winter Olympics in China in February 2022 are "a wrong stage in the wrong place".
Clear signals from the West in the direction of Beijing are long overdue, said Beer, referring to the "brutal suppression of the Uyghurs and the Chinese aggression against Hong Kong and Taiwan". It could not be in the interests of either the US or the EU to "quietly watch Beijing at the Winter Games as a gigantic propaganda staging, while China's apparatus openly behind the scenes seriously violates human rights," said the Parliament Vice-President.
The day before, the United States announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in Washington that President Joe Biden's administration would not send diplomatic or official representatives to the Winter Olympics in China. The background to this is the ongoing "genocide" in the Xinjiang autonomous region and other human rights violations.
Australia will join the diplomatic boycott, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in Sydney. This decision was "not a surprise" for him, he added. He cited a number of misunderstandings between Canberra and Beijing as the reason, including China's criticism of Australia's decision to purchase nuclear-powered submarines. His government again denounced "human rights violations in Xinjiang and other issues", but the Chinese government has shown no willingness to talk.
Australian athletes should, however, take part in the games in Beijing, stressed Morrison. "Australia is a great sports nation, but I do keep sports and other political issues apart."
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