Olaf Scholz will not attend Beijing Olympics – DW (English)

Olaf Scholz will not attend Beijing Olympics – DW (English)

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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)
The pandemic has meant that bobsled athletes heading to Beijing haven’t had as much chance to practice on the track as usual. But Germany has come up with a secret weapon that the team keeps in a Munich office building.  
The Beijing games is the first to rely on 100% artificial snow. Researchers say that global heating trends will make the event unviable at all but one former host venue by 2100.  
China slammed the US, Britain, Canada and Australia for using “the Olympic platform for political manipulation” after they announced a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games over China’s poor human rights record.  
Over 200 NGOs and rights organizations have called for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. They have raised concerns about atrocities and human rights violations by the Chinese government.  
Washington has said it will not be sending any diplomatic representation to the games. However, the move does not stop US athletes from competing.  
Anyone traveling to the Beijing Olympics is required to document their health for authorities. But the My 2022 smartphone app has vulnerabilities that could lead to hacking, a security report obtained by DW has found.  
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