China Olympics Boycott

by Lauren Schena


In December, as the world waited for the start of the Olympic season, the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada began a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which is taking place from February 4 to February 20.

After this declaration, many other countries followed in their footsteps and joined the movement. Other boycotting countries include India, Lithuania, Kosovo, Belgium, Denmark, and Estonia. 

     All of these countries decided to send their competing athletes to the Olympics, but did not send ministers or officials to help oversee the games. The primary reason for these actions is because of China’s human rights abuses against their Muslim Uyghur population. In addition to this, some countries have other reasons for boycotting. India is boycotting because the torchbearer for the games is a Chinese army officer that was part of a deadly battle between China and India on their country’s border. 

     Countries like Japan made the decision to send ministers to the games but will not send their officials. Other countries such as New Zealand, Austria, Slovenia, Sweden, and the Netherlands have also decided not to send government representation, but they state that the coronavirus is their reason for not doing so. 

     Although many countries have joined together in this universal boycott, there are some that have done the opposite and stood by China during this time. France is one of these countries, as President Macron stated, “I don’t think we should politicise these topics, especially if it is to take steps that are insignificant and symbolic.” (bbc.com)

     With all the controversy that’s surrounding this year’s Olympic Games, human rights activists around the world have taken a stand to protest against the Beijing Games. 

     Now, people are left to wonder what impact these allegations will have on China and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and if this symbolic boycott will generate any changes in their policies.

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