Australia should join the US and boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics


7 December 2021


Dr Zoë Bedford
Australia Tibet Council
0408 262 576

Australia Tibet Council welcomes the announcement today by President Joe Biden that the United States government will boycott the Beijing 2022 Winter Games. We call on the Australian Government to do the same or risk endorsing China’s gross human rights abuses.  

President Biden made a commitment to boycott the Beijing 2022 Winter Games in a statement today confirming that no US dignitaries or officials will attend the opening or closing ceremonies due to the Chinese government’s ongoing human rights abuses.

This statement of courage and leadership is a testament to the tireless work of Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hongkongers, Southern Mongolians, Taiwanese and Chinese people, among others, who have been working tirelessly to urge governments, sponsors, and broadcasters to withdraw support for Beijing 2022.

Not only does this high profile move show solidarity with impacted communities, who have faced the momentous escalation of repression that followed the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, it also sets an example that we believe the Australian Government should follow.

While we welcome the announcement by the US as an important first step in ensuring that the international community stops legitimising the Chinese government’s genocide and crimes against humanity, we continue to urge governments around the world to take further bilateral and multilateral action.

“Australia must take a stand!” says Zoe Bedford of the Australia Tibet Council. “These games have been dubbed the Genocide-games because of the millions of Uyghurs imprisoned by the CCP, because of China’s crackdown in Hong Kong, because of China ‘disappearing Chinese citizens like Peng Shuai who speak out against CCP officials, and because of the repression in Tibet – which has been suffering under CCP occupation since 1950.”

Australia Tibet Council (ATC) believes if Australia does not join the diplomatic boycott China will see it as an endorsement of their policies in Tibet. “The Australian Government needs to show that they will not be complicit with China’s ‘sportswashing’ of their human rights record,” says Dr Zoe Bedford – ATC’s Executive Officer.

A number of Australian Parliamentarians have spoken out about the need for strong action in the form of a diplomatic boycott of these Winter Olymp[ics in Beijing such as; Senator Kimberly Kitching, Senator James Patterson, Senator Janet Rice, Senator Eric Abetz, Senator Rex Patrick and others – showing this action has cross-party support.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison needs to decide if he will risk Australia’s reputation in sending Australian diplomats and high officials to Beijing to celebrate the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics  – the Olympics that have been dubbed the ‘genocide games’.

Australia needs to take immediate action and commit to rejecting invitations to the opening and closing ceremonies of Beijing 2022 on human rights grounds.