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UK government says no plans for ministers to attend Beijing Winter Olympics

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the UK Leader of the House of Commons on Thursday confirmed that "no tickets have been booked" for UK government ministers to attend the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

UK | Winter olympics | China


Beijing 2022, Winter Olympics 2022
Winter Olympics 2022. Photo: Reuters

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Leader of the House of Commons on Thursday confirmed that "no tickets have been booked" for government ministers to attend the Beijing 2022

The announcement was made in response to a question from Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP, co-chair of the cross-party Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on (IPAC), on whether the government would announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing

Jacob Rees-Mogg answered: "...It is up to the British Olympics Committee to decide whether or not athletes go. As regards Government Ministers, whether they would wish to go to the People's Republic of China, I can tell the honourable gentleman that no tickets have been booked."

The announcement follows growing international momentum behind a diplomatic boycott of the Games, with the Biden Administration reportedly set to announce that no US government officials will be attending the Games, IPAC said in a statement.

The move comes amidst global concern for Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who has appeared only in a series of staged Chinese state media announcements since her disappearance following allegations of sexual abuse made against a top Chinese Communist Party official.

The IPAC, a cross-party network of some 200 legislators internationally, has led parliamentary action in over 10 countries calling for a diplomatic boycott of the Games in response to the Chinese government's human rights abuses in the Uyghur Region and Hong Kong.

UK's Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP said: "Today's announcement that government ministers are not planning to attend the Beijing Winter Olympics, whilst welcome, isn't as yet a clear public statement. The Games will take place while the Chinese government commits industrial scale human rights abuses in the Uyghur Region, Tibet and sends near-daily military incursions into Taiwan's airspace. Add to that their arrest of peaceful democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong and the list of human rights abuses is enormous.

"That is why the U.K. government must now go one further and publicly confirm that no ministers, diplomats or other British officials will attend the games. We cannot lend any legitimacy to China's despotic regime.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, November 26 2021. 07:49 IST