Thursday, July 18, 2024

Ottawa will participate in the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics | Olympic Games

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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We are deeply troubled by the human rights violations of the Chinese government. That is why we are announcing today that we will not be sending a diplomatic representative to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing this winter.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced.

The Prime Minister confirmed that hundreds of Canadian athletes will not be affected by this decision. They will continue to have the full support of the Canadian government, and compete against other top athletes in the world. We can’t wait to see them succeed.

« In terms of the safety of our athletes, I can assure you that Canada and our allies will do everything in their power to ensure our athletes focus on one thing and one thing only. […] : Represent Canada well and win. Their job is to do that. »

Quote from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

When asked about possible retaliatory measures by the Chinese government, the Prime Minister avoided the question. He was just saying that Beijing is too Very aware of the concerns Canadian human rights issues, as a diplomatic boycott It shouldn’t be a surprise.

most important for canada […]is that we are sending a very clear message to the Chinese government that we are concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang.The head of Canadian diplomacy, Melanie Jolie, previously explained.

« We have several countries in the world sending a clear message to China that human rights are being violated [sont] unacceptable. That’s why we work together on a diplomatic level. That’s why we work in the coalition. »

Quote from Melanie Jolie, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada

Ms. Jolie seems to consider it unlikely that Canadian athletes will bear the brunt of the retaliatory measures. It is in the interest of the host country to ensure the safety of athletes from Canada, but from all over the world., did she say. I think it’s clear on a diplomatic level.

For her part, the Minister of Sports, Pascal Saint Ong, confirmed that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers will help ensure the safety of Canadian athletes, and that discussions on this matter are still ongoing with the Minister of Safety. .

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Minister Jolie says she will mobilize other countries to the cause, including the G7 foreign ministers meeting, which will take place this weekend in Liverpool, UK. I think you can expect to see other countries sending this message out., I expected.

Conservatives, the Caucus Quebec, and the New Democrats have all announced that they support a diplomatic boycott, due to the plight of the Uyghurs. Canadian Parliament adopted The “genocide” recognition movement Which they were victims of last winter.

Distinguishing sport from diplomacy

In a press release, the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committee (COC) said it understood and respected the Trudeau government’s decision. They say they are Concerned about the current issues in China We understand that the Olympic Games An important platform to attract attention on those.

« This announcement represents an important difference between the participation of athletes and the participation of government officials in the Games. […] History has shown that boycotting athletes only hurt athletes without making much difference. »

Quote from Extract from the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committee press release

The diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics movement was Launched on Monday by the United States, who said they were doing this to protest against Genocide from the Muslim Uyghur minority. Mr. Trudeau and Mrs. Jolie avoid using this term.

Australia And United kingdom The Biden administration followed suit on Wednesday.

Washington’s decision angered Beijing, which promised strong countermeasures revenge. Instead, the Church of Canberra was met with disdain, as the Chinese diplomat believed it Everyone doesn’t care Whether or not Australia will send official representatives.

According to human rights organizations, at least one million Uyghurs and other Turkic-speaking minorities, most of whom are Muslims, are held in camps in Xinjiang. China is accused of forcibly sterilizing women there and forcing forced labor.

Beijing denies having anything to be ashamed of. He asserts that these camps are in fact vocational training centers designed to de-radicalize their residents.

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Ottawa had no other choice, the former ambassador thought

in an interview in Medi informationThe former Canadian ambassador to China, Guy Saint-Jacques, said he believed the Trudeau government had taken the matter Right decision By joining the diplomatic boycott movement. He thinks he really had no other choice.

If we had made a different decision, it would have raised a lot of questions among our international partners, especially after we asked them to help us free Michael, and after all the hardships we’ve had in recent years. The years with China, note.

According to him, Western countries have found The dark side From China in the past three years With multiple reports of genocide taking place in Xinjiang, repression in Tibet and democracy on the verge of disappearing in Hong Kong.

« For Western countries, this poses a problem. We can no longer close our eyes, we must respond. In this aspect, the Olympic Games were an easy target and a necessary goal to show our disagreement with the policies pursued by China. »

Quote from Jay Saint-Jacques, former Canadian ambassador to China

There is a way to stand together to oppose this rogue behavior by ChinaAdds the former diplomat. The message is simple: We have no problem with China being a great power, as long as it respects its obligations under international agreements, plays the rules of the game, and fulfills them. Commitments made, for example, when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Canada is not at the end of its sentences with the Chinese government, warns St-Jacques, because, according to him, it must be announced that it will not allow the Chinese telecom giant Huawei to participate in the development of the 5G network in the country. I think, here too, the answer is quite straightforward and automatic: we’ll say no. Which means we’ll have more bad news, He says.

However, he notes that despite the differences between the two countries, Canadian exports to China are expected to reach record levels this year. He assures that China will always need our agro-food products, canola, wheat, barley, iron ore, copper., notice.

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Jay Saint-Jacques also believes that the declared diplomatic boycott can do just that Encouraging slightly more progressive forces within the Chinese Communist Party, who wonders if the country isn’t on the wrong track by alienating countries like Canada and Australia.

Former Olympians behind the government

Former Olympic and Paralympic athletes, Jean-Luc Brassard and Chantal Petticlerc, also said they support the Canadian approach.

However, they are both happy to see that the boycott of the Games will be purely diplomatic and that Canadian athletes will not be disqualified from participating in sports competitions.

Canada had to follow suit for obvious reasons. We are a democracy. Making faces to please a totalitarian country, I don’t think this is appropriate, especially in the current climate. I think it was the right decision to make This was stated by Jean-Luc Brassard.

A sports boycott was not an option, we saw it in Moscow in 1980. It did not work, except for the great disappointment of the athletes.The former skater thought.

I think it is a good decision to tell ourselves as a country and a nation, we have decided to take a stand and pressure that we hope will lead to tangible results., comments Mrs. Peticlerc, now a Senator.

The two Olympic medalists are skeptical of the decisions of the International Olympic Committee, which accepted that the Games be held in a country where respect for human rights is in many ways in doubt.

They will have that power to make a difference. […] They must already consider standards of fairness, diversity and inclusion. Accessibility standards when it comes to games for the disabled. Perhaps we should go further and say that we need to respect international conventions and human rights. There are things that we must not give upMrs. Peticlerc says.

For his part, Jean-Luc Brassard believes that the IOC’s decision is up to money. The main sponsors are now Chinese. They spend billions on the Olympic organization, He said.

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