Australia considers an “unofficial” boycott of the Beijing Games, according to media

Australia considers an “unofficial” boycott of the winter Olympics in Beijing next year, which assumes that it will not send any official to this event, amid concerns about the situation of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, published this Thursday the Sydney Morning Herald.

Various lawmakers from the ruling Liberal-National coalition as well as the Labor Party have called on Scott Morrison’s executive to adopt an official diplomatic boycott similar to that being considered by the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, the newspaper said.

The Sydney Morning Herald explained that the option considered by the Canberra executive is an “unofficial” boycott, which, like a diplomatic one, involves sending the athletes but not their officials, although without calling it by name.

The newspaper added that Australia is waiting for the United States to impose a diplomatic boycott, in response to the human rights situation in Hong Kong, Tibet and the Xinjiang region, to adopt a similar decision and in line with its allies. .

Requests in Australia for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics increased due to concerns about the whereabouts of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who denounced sexual abuse by former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on November 2.

Australian Sports Minister Ricard Colbeck said that while China needs to respond “with transparency and responsibility” to the Peng case, he clarified that “the decision on government representation to these Winter Games has not yet been adopted.”

Australia maintains tense relations with China for diplomatic, geo-political and commercial reasons, which were further aggravated last September with the announcement of a defense pact between Canberra, Washington and London to face Beijing in the Indo-Pacific region.

Beijing has also adopted trade measures against key Australian products, while Canberra has passed laws in recent years to prevent alleged espionage and interference from the Asian giant.

Australia has also protested the arrest in China of a Chinese-Australian writer and has expressed reservations about the expansion of the Chinese technology company Huawei to its participation in the development of 5G technology networks.