Beijing boycott: Britain considering only partial ban of Chinese Winter Olympics

Australia has joined the US in diplomatic boycott of the Games

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Britain is considering approving a limited government attendance at the Beijing Olympics that would stop short of a full-on diplomatic boycott, according to reports.

A spokesperson for Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that Britain was yet to take a decision on whether government representatives would attend the Beijing Winter Olympics.

It comes as Australia has joined the United States in confirming they will not be sending diplomats to the games over human rights concerns.

According to The Telegraph, one option under consideration for ministers is to skip the Games, but for Caroline Wilson, the country's ambassador to China, to attend.

An outright diplomatic boycott is supported in other quarters of government and is heavily backed by China hawks in Parliament, the report added.

Former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has urged the government to boycott the games completely, telling GB News the UK should have boycotted the 2022 Winter Olympics "weeks ago."

The United States on Monday said its government officials will boycott the Beijing Olympics because of China's human rights "atrocities", just weeks after talks aimed at easing tense relations between the two superpowers.

China said the U.S. will "pay the price" for its decision and warned of "resolute countermeasures" in response.

Morrison said the decision was made because of Australia's struggles to reopen diplomatic channels with China to discuss alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Beijing's moves to slow and block imports of Australian goods.

Other allies have been slow to commit to joining the diplomatic boycott.