fredag 3. desember 2021

Australia refuses to sign ‘truce’ for Beijing Olympics as it weighs up diplomatic boycott

Australia has joined 19 other countries in opting not to sign a truce with China ahead of next year’s Winter Olympics amid growing pressure for a diplomatic boycott of the event.

The refusal to sign the Olympic Truce – a tradition that dates back to ancient Greece to ensure conflicts don’t disrupt the competition – was designed to send a message to Beijing over its human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong and the treatment of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai. Since its revival in 1993, Israel and North Korea are usually the only countries not to sign the truce. But the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday passed the resolution without the support of 20 countries.

None of the “Quad” members – United States, India, Australia and Japan – sponsored the resolution, and New Zealand was the only country in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, comprising Australia, NZ, Canada, the United Kingdom and the US, to sign the truce. As a majority Muslim country, Turkey’s decision not to co-sponsor the resolution has been noted given China’s treatment of Muslim Uighurs in the far-western province of Xinjiang.