Germany and South Korea refuse to join boycott of Beijing Winter Games

Germany and South Korea have refused to join the boycott of the Beijing Winter Games, to be held in China next February.

The Foreign Minister of Germany, Annalena Baerbock, has expressed that she is against using the Olympic Games politically, in allusion to the recent diplomatic boycotts of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The Olympic Games are “a celebration of sports; athletes prepare for them for years, sometimes half their lives,” said Baerbock, and they should therefore not be used this way.

“We have made it clear on several occasions that we see the human rights situation in China at the moment, also in view of the incidents that have taken place in the recent past,” added Baerbock, who also said that “based on that” they would discuss how to proceed with their “European colleagues in Brussels”.

The recently-appointed Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, has still not commented on the issue and he will need to decide whether he wishes to support the diplomatic boycott against China led by the United States.

“We still want to have conversations with many other countries because we want to act in a coordinated manner,” stated Scholz last Friday in Paris, following a meeting with the French President Macron.

The president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, dismissed the possibility that his country would join the boycott. During a visit to Canberra, Moon said that he is not considering boycotting the Olympic Games for China’s human rights violations, as various western countries have done.

“We have not received a request from any other country, including the United States, to participate in a diplomatic boycott,” stated Moon. He also insisted that South Korea wants to promote a free and open Pacific region, but it is important to consider China’s role in the pacification of the Korean peninsula.

“We need the constructive efforts of China to enable denuclearisation of DPRK (North Korea),” he said, indicating that Seoul aspired to a harmonious relationship with Beijing.

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Tamsin Brown

Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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