Denmark and the Netherlands will also not send official representatives to the Beijing Winter Olympics, but officially for different reasons.
“The Danish government has decided that we will not participate in the Winter Olympics in China (…) It is no secret that in Denmark we are very concerned about the human rights situation in China,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said. The head of the Danish diplomacy explained that this decision came after a European meeting that showed that “unfortunately, no agreement can be reached among the 27 countries. Therefore, different options were made on how to proceed.” However, Danish athletes will participate in competitions. “Danish athletes can count on the full support of the government. We will cheer for them as we always do,” Kofud added. “But we will do it from home, not from the stands in Beijing.”
Before Denmark, the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom had already decided to “diplomatic boycott” of the Beijing Winter Olympics to denounce human rights violations in China, especially in the Muslim-majority region (Northwest) Xinjiang. . Japan also announced that it would not send government representatives.
Sweden had announced earlier this week that no official would attend the Olympic ceremonies, but rather due to the pandemic. The Netherlands repeated this approach on Friday, with the explanation that the health restrictions caused by the coronavirus would make it “difficult” for Dutch diplomats to have sufficiently in-depth discussions with their Chinese counterparts on issues such as human rights. A similar decision was made regarding the Tokyo Games last summer, again due to Covid-19. According to a government source, this is “not a political boycott” like the one announced recently.
Switzerland, for its part, will not boycott the Olympic Games. “Every council member or federation member, at every international meeting, presents the issue of human rights. It has now become a standard. The best way to get solutions is to discuss dialogue and not boycott it. Switzerland offers its good offices. Geneva has already existed. There are many solutions Viola Amherd, the Swiss sports minister, said: “This is how we make our contribution.”
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