00:27 GMT04 August 2021
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    LONDON (Sputnik) – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that he would not support a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games over alleged human rights violations by the Chinese government in Xinjiang, arguing that he has “instinctively” always been against sporting boycotts.

    "This country has led the world in condemning human rights abuses in Xinjiang and putting sanctions on those responsible, in holding companies to account that import goods made with forced labour in Xinjiang, and I will certainly consider the proposal and debate it, but I must say that I am instinctively, and always have been, against sporting boycotts", Johnson told Parliament.

    UK Labour lawmakers Lisa Nandy and Jo Stevens have called on the Conservative government to support a political boycott of the Winter Olympic Games if China does not allow UN investigators unfettered access to the Xinjiang province.

    Speaking to Sky News earlier on Wednesday, Nandy said the UK government was "sleep-walking" into a situation that in her opinion amounted to "genocide".

    "We’ve got the Winter Olympics coming up at the end of next year and the government is sleep-walking into a situation where they’ve issued very tough words about what is happening to Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang. They say it’s a crime against humanity, Parliament and we say it constitutes genocide", the Labour shadow foreign secretary said.

    The Chinese government has rebuffed international claims about the alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang province.

    UK, Boris Johnson, China, Olympics
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