Canada Joins Allies in Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

By Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
December 8, 2021 Updated: December 8, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will not send any official representatives to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, joining its allies in a diplomatic boycott over China’s human rights abuses.

“For the past many months, we’ve been in conversation with partners and allies around the world on the issue of the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Trudeau said in a press conference on Dec. 8.

“As a country, indeed, as many partners around the world, we are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government. That is why we are announcing today that we will not be sending any diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympic [and] Paralympic Games this winter.”

The prime minister added that Canadian athletes will have the government’s “fullest support” as they compete in the Games.

The United States was the first to announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which will be held in February 2022.

“Given the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses,” the United States “will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Games,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing on Dec. 6.

Australia and the United Kingdom have both now followed suit.

During his confirmation hearing on Dec. 7, David Cohen, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, said he is confident that both countries will be on the same page when it comes to dealing with China, including a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics.

“I have a high level of confidence that Canada and the United States will be aligned on our China policy, including our policy with respect to the Olympics,” said Cohen outside Rideau Hall.

The U.S. envoy made his comments shortly after presenting his letters of credence to Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon in a ceremony to officially begin his role as liaison between the two allies.

Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada 2015 and an outspoken China human rights activist, said in an interview with CTV News that allowing the Chinese communist regime to hold an international event like the Olympics is akin to “giving them legitimacy” for human rights violations against the Chinese people, including Uyghurs, Tibetans, Falun Gong adherents, and Hong Kongers.

She said the regime could use the high-profile event to exert more control over Chinese people, including stifling athletes’ freedom of expression on the world’s stage.

At the announcement of the diplomatic boycott on Dec. 8, Trudeau said the decision shouldn’t come as a surprise to Beijing.

“We have been very clear over the past many years of our deep concerns around human rights violations, and this is a continuation of us expressing our deep concerns for human rights violations,” he said.

With files from The Canadian Press

Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.