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The German chancellor has said he has no plans to attend the winter Olympics. Several countries have previously announced diplomatic boycotts.
Beijing’s Winter Olympics have been the subject of political boycotts
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced on Wednesday that he has no plans to attend the Beijing Winter Olympics.
In an interview with public broadcaster ZDF, he was asked whether he would attend the event.
“I have no travel plans, so it cannot be assumed that I will suddenly turn up,” Scholz responded. Scholz did not say what motivated his lack of plans.
Countries including the US, Canada, the UK and Australia have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics due to repeated human rights violations. They cited the ongoing crackdown on the Uighur population and other ethnic and religious minority groups the country’s west.
In Europe, Denmark and the Netherlands also joined the diplomatic boycott, but Germany’s position has remained unclear thus far.
A diplomatic boycott does not prevent athletes from competing in the Games, instead, it keeps government officials from attending the spectacle and possibly lending any tacit approval to the host country’s government policies.
China said those who boycotted the Games would will “inevitably pay the price for their wrongdoing.”
In December, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said they had made a personal decision not to attend, but that this did not reflect the official government position.
The German Foreign Office told German news agency dpa that no officials from its ministry would attend, with representatives from the German Embassy in Beijing also not taking part. Markus Söder, the premier of the southern German state of Bavaria, has urged at least one German government official to attend the games.
“I believe that German foreign policy should remain in the conversation, even if skeptically,” Söder said.
The International Olympic Committee has defended China’s hosting of the Games, saying politics does play a part in decisions concerning the award of Olympics events to a country.
aw/sms (AFP, dpa)
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