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Australia Considering Winter Olympics Boycott

Australian politics from both major parties are pushing for the government to announce an official diplomatic boycott of next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics, as fears grow for the safety of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai.

This follows United States President Joe Biden’s confirmation that the US was considering a similar boycott, with Canada and the UK also on the record as ‘considering’ a boycott.

Not surprisingly, Scott Morrison is waiting for Biden to make a decision before jumping himself.

Peng Shuai disappeared for weeks after accusing former Chinese vice-premier Zhang Gaoli of coercive sexual assault. After global concerns were raised for her wellbeing, she supposedly authored a stilted, formal message to fans assuring them she was fine.

When this was rightly deemed suspicious, she appeared in a seemingly forced video message, released by Chinese state media, followed by a video call with the International Olympic Committee.

The World Players Association were not convinced.

“The International Olympic Committee’s video call has not only failed to provide the necessary assurances, it has exacerbated global alarm by raising many questions that have rightly been asked by human rights organisations including Human Rights Watch,” it said in a statement.

Australia’s diplomatic boycott would involve not sending any government officials to the Games, although athletes would be free to make up their own minds about competing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently the only world leader to indicate he will be attending the Winter Games.

 

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