Australia will join the United States in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics next year, a move that may exacerbate tensions with China.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday that it is not surprising that Australia will not send official representatives to participate in the Olympics, given China’s unwillingness to discuss issues between “some” countries.
These include concerns about alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang in northwestern China, and Beijing’s concerns about Australia’s efforts to obtain Nuclear powered submarine.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that the Biden administration will Boycott the Olympics In February, because of “continuous genocide and crimes against humanity” in Xinjiang. China called the decision “seriously violates the principle of political neutrality.”
Canberra’s relationship with Beijing Rapid deterioration Since Australia joined the Aukus security partnership with the United Kingdom and the United States.
Human rights groups criticizing China’s policies in Xinjiang and suppressing Hong Kong Also urged Governments and companies around the world boycott the Winter Olympics.
“Australia is already in trouble,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a professor of political science at Hong Kong Baptist University, adding that diplomatic resistance is part of the “declining spiral” in Australia-China relations.
China is the largest in Australia Business partner According to data from the Australian government, in terms of imports and exports, last year’s trade volume exceeded 245 billion Australian dollars (175 billion US dollars).
At the same time, Australia is China’s sixth largest training partner and an important supplier of raw materials.Last year, Beijing implemented a Unofficial ban on Australian coal After Canberra supports the call for an international investigation into the origin of the Wuhan coronavirus. Beef, wine, wood, cotton and seafood also face high tariffs.
But Kabestein said that China’s demand for Australian imports will limit its response.
“Influence [of worsening relations] Trade is important in some areas, but limited in other areas such as iron ore,” he said. “China needs Australia and Australian imports. ”
Last month, Human Rights Watch, an event organization based in the United States, called the Beijing Olympics “affected by censorship and repression” and called on its international sponsors, including Visa, Coca-Cola, and Omega, to use their influence to solve so-called rights issues. . Abuse of power in China.
This week, New Zealand also stated that it would not send diplomats to participate in the Beijing Olympics, but mentioned concerns about the spread of Covid-19, rather than political concerns. In July, the British Parliament also voted for a non-binding motion to pass a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics.