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Jul 10, 2021

EU House votes to boycott Beijing Winter Olympics

Foreign Affairs News Desk
Beijing Olympic logo.
Beijing Olympic logo.

The European Parliament has voted for diplomats to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics due to continuing allegations of human rights abuses.

MEPs also want their governments to impose further sanctions over China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims and support pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong. China is facing intense criticism for its human rights record. Several countries, including the United States, have accused China of committing genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, allegations that China denies. Rights groups have also called attention to Beijing’s repression in Tibet and its crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong. 

The 2022 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIV Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as Beijing 2022, is an international winter multi-sport event that is scheduled to take place from 4 to 20 February 2022, in Beijing and towns in the neighboring Hebei province, China.

Beijing was selected as the host city of the 2022 Winter Olympics after beating Almaty by four votes on 31 July 2015 at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The European Parliament has called on EU heads of state and government to tell their diplomats and all officials to decline any invitations they may get to the Winter Olympics in 2022 unless the human rights situation improves.

However, this European Parliament resolution is not binding.

Activists are also pressuring corporate sponsors to withdraw their support though none have done so yet. 

In other side, China’s foreign ministry has warned of a “robust response” to any boycotts, and experts point out that Beijing has many ways it could retaliate saying “it could suspend bilateral exchanges and participation in global talks and sanction foreign officials.

Montreal Olympic Games in 1976 was boycotted by over two dozen African nations against IOC’s decision to let New Zealand in the games against their call to ban.

In 1980 Moscow Olympic was boycotted by the United States and its led nations to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union retaliated in 1984, boycotting the Los Angeles Olympics.

The last full boycott was in 1988, when North Korea and its allies skipped the Seoul Olympics.

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