The US announced its diplomatic boycott of Winter Olympics in Beijing to be held in February 2022, on Monday 6 December, because of China’s human rights record specially its brutal oppression amounting to genocide of the Muslim Uyghurs minority in the Xinjiang region. Many more countries are expected to follow suit.

The UN and rights groups believe at least one million Uyghurs and members of other mostly Muslim minorities have been detained by Chinese authorities.

Diplomatic boycott means that no ministers, diplomats and government officials will be attending the Olympic events while the teams may be taking part in the competitions.

Australia’s decision came because of its struggles to reopen diplomatic channels with China to discuss alleged human rights abuses in the far western region of Xinjiang and Beijing’s moves against Australian imports.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison  highlighted “human rights abuses and issues in Xinjiang,” were some of the concerns raised by the Australian government with Beijing.
He clarified that the government would keep its official representatives at home, although Australian athletes will still attend the Games in February.

The Australian Olympic Committee said the boycott would have no impact on athletes’ preparations for the Games, which run from 4 to 20 February 2022, adding that “diplomatic options” were a matter for governments.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Parliament also passed a non-binding resolution describing China’s treatment of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang as “genocide”.