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When you exceed Canada’s level of comfort with breaching individual freedoms, you’ve probably gone too far.
According to reports Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will forego sending any government officials to Beijing’s 2022 Winter Olympic Games as part of a diplomatic boycott aimed at China. Per The Hill’s reporting, “Canada is now the fifth country to announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, following the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia and Lithuania.”
The crux of the boycott highlights the Chinese government’s neglect of human rights — including their mistreatment of Uyghurs and refusal to quell concerns over the safety of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, among many others.
Trudeau stated: “Our athletes have been training for years and are looking forward to compete at the highest level against athletes from around the world, and they will continue to have all of our fullest support as they show the extraordinary success that Canada has at Winter Olympic Games.
“As a country, indeed, as many partners around the world, we are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese state. That is why we are announcing today that we will not be sending any diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympic or Paralympic Games this winter.”
In the bizarre case of Peng Shuai, the tennis player made sexual assault allegations toward a high-ranking Chinese official and was reportedly non-responsive to outreach following the claims. Spectators on the global stage soon grew suspicious of China’s handling of the allegations. The Chinese government released a seemingly censored statement on Shuai’s behalf, which prompted the Women’s Tennis Association to denounce China for its lack of transparency.
The WTA postponed all events slated to take place in China in 2022, a costly and lauded action.
Attention has also swelled for the injustice toward Uyghurs inside Chinese camps. In recent weeks, NBA center Enes Kanter Freedom has led the charge with his public opposition to China and the NBA’s business relationship.
The only group that has been deemed an ally of China in this timeline is the IOC, which announced on Tuesday that they are unable to give “assurances” on the safety of Shuai despite reportedly communicating with her over Zoom on a pair of occasions.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela