China Blasts Morrison for 'Political Posturing' as Australia Joins US in Boycotting Beijing Olympics
On Monday, the US called for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, citing China's "egregious human rights abuses and atrocities" in the Xinjiang region. Out of Washington's Quad allies, - Japan, Australia, and India - New Delhi is so far the only nation to have extended its support to China.
A war of words erupted between Beijing and Canberra on Wednesday after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison used alleged "human rights abuses" in Xinjiang as a reason to boycott the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.
Australian athletes will participate in the Games despite the diplomatic boycott.
"The blame for the current predicament of China-Australia relations lies squarely on the Australian side," the Chinese embassy in Canberra said.
Wishing the Australian athletes "excellent performance at the Winter Olympics", the Chinese embassy said that Australia's success at the Games depends on the performance of Australian athletes, not on the attendance of officials, and the "political posturing" by some Australian politicians.
"Mountains can not stop the river from flowing into the sea," the embassy statement read.
The response has come after the Australian Prime Minister accused the Chinese government of denying them opportunities to discuss the alleged human rights abuses against Uyghur minorities in China's Xinjiang region.
China has repeatedly rejected the allegations of human rights abuse in Xinjiang and Tibet.
"We have been very happy to talk to the Chinese government about these issues (human rights), and there has been no obstacle to that occurring on our side. But the Chinese government has consistently not accepted those opportunities for us to meet about those issues," Morrison underlined.
China urged the Australian side to take "practical measures" to create favourable conditions for improving bilateral relations, which were disrupted after the Morrison government banned Huawei from Australia's 5G network and demanded an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
On Monday, the US announced a diplomatic boycott of the event, saying that no government officials will travel to China to attend the Games. Beijing warned that it will respond to the diplomatic snub, and the US would "pay a price for its erroneous actions".
7 December 2021, 07:04 GMT
Washington has been consulting with allies and partners on a "shared approach" to the Games regarding the alleged human rights issue.
On Tuesday, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said that Tokyo would decide on the issue "at an appropriate time."
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also reiterated that Tokyo would like to make its own decision from the standpoint of "national interests" by considering the potential impact on Japan's diplomacy and the Olympics.
As for the Quad members, a grouping of the US, Japan, Australia, and India, New Delhi has said it will participate in the Games.
The International Olympic Committee said in a statement on Tuesday that "the presence of government officials and diplomats is a purely political decision for each government, which the IOC in its political neutrality fully respects."
The Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing between 4 and 20 February next year and will be followed by the Paralympic Games, scheduled to be held between 4 and 13 March.