Scott Morrison Australia will join the US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics over human rights concerns, the Australian prime minister announced Wednesday AP. There is nothing surprising in this, Morrison said, as relations between the two countries have deteriorated in recent years. The prime minister cited Australia’s “national interest” in justifying the decision, saying it was the right one.
Morrison also spoke of China’s harsh criticism of Australia’s efforts to build a strong defense system in the region. Recently, the Chinese have been particularly criticized for their decision to purchase nuclear-powered submarines. He added that his government is very keen to consult with China on their differences, but the Chinese government has consistently rejected the possibility of a meeting.
Law enforcement organizations have also called for a complete boycott of the Winter Games, citing mainly China’s abuses against ethnic minorities. As reported on Tuesday, the United States opted for a diplomatic boycott. However, these decisions cannot be seen as a response to the appeal of human rights organizations, although it came at a very turbulent time for international relations and was criticized by a number of critics from China.
The Australian Olympic Committee said Morrison’s announcement would not affect the expected participation of about 40 Australian athletes at the Games.
The protection of Beijing athletes, safe racing and a safe return remain our top priorities
– Tell Matt Carroll, Committee president.
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