Beijing Games diplomatic boycott gains support Dec 09, 2021 0 0 12345 dpaSydneyPrime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday confirmed that Australia would follow the United States’ lead in carrying out a diplomatic boycott of February’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, saying the decision was “not surprising.” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson partly followed suit, saying no British government ministers would attend in what would “effectively be a diplomatic boycott” over human rights concerns.German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will also not attend the Games, his spokesperson told broadcaster ARD, but it is not yet being classed as a diplomatic boycott as some German politicians have called for. The diplomatic boycotts would not affect athletes, who would still attend. However, German double Olympic luge champion Natalie Geisenberger is not ruling out her own boycott of the Games in Beijing which run February 4-20.“The conditions we experienced there on site speak for not necessarily going there again. Even with the Olympics, I am considering whether I would do that to myself again,” the 33-year-old told Bayerischer Rundfunk having undergone quarantine in China before a warm-up race.The Australian prime minister cited disagreements between Beijing and Canberra as one of the reasons for his boycott, including China’s “concerns with our foreign interference legislation or foreign investment rules” as well as its criticism of Australia’s decision to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.Speaking to reporters in Sydney, Morrison went on to point out that Australia also raised concern over “human rights abuses in Xinjiang and many other issues” and has been available to discuss them with China, “but the Chinese government has consistently not accepted those opportunities for us to meet about these issues.” Both Morrison and Britain’s Johnson said they did not agree with sporting boycotts.“It is not surprising... that Australian government officials would, therefore, not be going to China for those Games. Australian athletes will, though,” Morrison said.“Australia is a great sporting nation and I very much separate the issues of sport and these other political issues. They’re issues between two governments.” China laughed off the development. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Biden wants to boost Ukrainian defences against Russia Dec 09, 2021 0 0 Merkel hands over reins to Scholz Dec 09, 2021 0 0 Putin rejects accusation of possible invasion of Ukraine Dec 09, 2021 0 0 Boosters could be needed for ‘years to come’, says Pfizer official London People are likely to need Covid-19 booster shots “for a number of years to come”, a Pfizer boss has said. Ben Osborn, country manager for the pharmaceutical firm in the UK, said that it was not yet clear whether future .. Another body found on Polish-Belarusian border amid migrant crisis Warsaw Soldiers found the body of another migrant in Poland’s border region with Belarus, where thousands of people from crisis regions have been stranded in recent weeks in sub-zero temperatures. The soldiers found .. European Commission plans a new policy to deter economic threats Brussels The European Commission wants to set up a new sanctions instrument to shield EU member states from economic intimidation “at a time of rising geopolitical tensions.” European Commissioner for Trade Valdis .. Immigration reforms clear Britain’s Commons amid chaotic scenes dpa London The British government’s flagship immigration legislation has cleared the House of Commons amid chaotic scenes and claims of “anti-democratic” tactics from opposition MPs. MPs gave the Nationality and .. Johnson apologises after reports of Christmas party despite lockdown London British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered an investigation on Wednesday amid claims Downing Street staff broke lockdown rules by holding a Christmas party last year. He told lawmakers he was “furious” about ..