British Prime Minister Boris Johnson: UK plans diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

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LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday no U.K. government minister will attend the Beijing Winter Olympics, calling it “effectively” a diplomatic boycott.

Johnson was asked in the House of Commons whether the U.K. will join the United States, Australia and Lithuania in a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games in February over Beijing’s human rights record.

He said he opposed boycotts involving athletes, but Britain would effectively be boycotting the Olympics diplomatically.

“There will be effectively a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing,” Johnson told lawmakers. “No ministers are expected to attend and no officials.”

’The government has no hesitation in raising these issues with China, as I did with President Xi the last time I talked to him,” he added.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson: UK plans diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

The White House confirmed Monday that it was staging a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing to protest Chinese human rights abuses. China has vowed to react with “firm countermeasures.”

Western governments, including the U.S., Australia and Britain, have criticized Beijing for human rights abuses against its Uyghur minority in northwest Xinjiang province and suppression of democratic protests in Hong Kong.

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