'Nobody cares,' Chinese FM blasts Canberra's decision to join US in boycotting Beijing 2022
Published: Dec 08, 2021 05:40 PM
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison reacting during a press conference at Australia's Parliament House in Canberra on March 22, 2021. Photo: VCG

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison reacting during a press conference at Australia's Parliament House in Canberra on March 22, 2021. Photo: VCG

Canberra staged a new political show by joining the US in a "boycott" of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, which fully exposes that it blindly follows the US, does not know right from wrong and has no bottom line, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry, noting China has not invited any Australian government officials to the Games and no one cares whether they come or not.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Wednesday that Australia will join the US in a "diplomatic boycott" of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, a decision that risks souring already bitter bilateral relations, Australian media said.

The US on Monday said its government officials will boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics in the name of concerns over the so-called human rights issues in China.

The Morrison government joining the US in a "diplomatic boycott" of the Beijing 2022 Olympics shows Australia is "Washington's loyalist lackey" as the country reacted the fastest among the five Eyes Alliance, Chinese observers said.

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a press conference on Wednesday that China has reiterated that the Winter Olympics is not a stage for political show and manipulation. 

The public stunt by Australian politicians out of selfish political interests will have no impact on Beijing's success in hosting the Winter Olympics, said Wang.

What Canberra has done seriously violates the principle of political neutrality in sports enshrined in the Olympic Charter, runs counter to the Olympic motto of "greater unity" and stands in opposition to athletes and sports fans all over the world, Wang condemned.

This also fully exposes the Australian government's blind adherence to some countries, to the extent that it knows no right from wrong and has no bottom line, said Wang, noting that China has lodged representations with Australia.

Australia's decision to not send officials to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games goes against its statement that it wants to improve ties with China, Chinese Embassy in Australia said.

According to the rules of the Olympic Games, the national Olympic Committee issues invitations to its country's government officials to attend the Games. So it is up to the national Olympic Committee to decide whether to send out invitations, said the Chinese embassy. Australia's success at the Beijing Winter Olympics depends on the performance of its athletes, not on whether Australian officials attend or not, nor on the political show of some Australian politicians, said the embassy.

As is known to all, the responsibility for the current difficulties in China-Australia relations lies entirely with Canberra, the Chinese embassy said.

Chen Hong, a professor and director of the Australian Studies Centre, East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Wednesday that Canberra's decision is within expectation as it has always rushed to the forefront of the anti-China bloc led by Washington.

The decision exposed Washington and Canberra's evil intentions to weaponize the Olympic Games to smear and suppress China, which goes against the Olympics spirit, said Chen. The Olympics are about diversity and unity, not politics, he said. 

However, the boycott will not do any damage to the Beijing 2022, Chen noted.

The Australian Olympic Committee said the boycott would have no impact on athletes' preparations for the Games, noting that politics and sports should be separated, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

"Our Australian athletes have been training and competing with this Olympic dream for four years now and we are doing everything in our power to ensure we can help them succeed," chief executive Matt Carroll of the committee said.

"We wish the Australian athletes will have an excellent performance in the Winter Olympics and believe they will witness a simple, safe and wonderful Games," said Chinese embassy.

In Australia, rational voices opposed to Morrison's anti-China policy are getting louder. 

Former Australian prime minister Paul Keating blasted Canberra's China policy in November. Keating issued a fresh warning to Scott Morrison, urging the Morrison government to reassess its approach to the "global superpower," according to Australian media.

He believes that Australia "is now very much at odds with its geography and has lost its way" amid heightened tensions with China.

Chen said that the Morrison government has gone too far on the anti-China road, and may have left no room for maneuvering.

"We do not expect the bilateral relations to improve during the Morrison administration," Chen said.