Don't travel to Beijing for the Olympics

Don’t travel to Beijing for the Olympics

© Michael Kappeler (DPA)

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Berlin (dpa) – German Foreign Minister Annallina Barbock will not travel to Beijing for the Winter Olympics in February.

“I’m a big fan of sports, but I’m definitely not going to the Olympics at this time – it wasn’t very common for foreign ministers in the past,” the green politician told dpa. But this is her personal decision. A joint line is being sought with EU partners on the issue of a diplomatic boycott of the Games.

The United States announced weeks ago that it would not send any official representative to the Games in China. Australia, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand followed suit. The background, among others, is the state of human rights in the world’s most populous country. The leadership in Beijing is criticized for its treatment of minorities such as the Uyghurs and Tibetans, but also for suppressing the democratic movement in Hong Kong or its threats against Taiwan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the political boycott of the Winter Olympics as unacceptable. “This is an unacceptable and wrong decision,” he said at his major annual press conference just before Christmas. “We have always been against the politicization of sports.” The Kremlin chief plans to travel to Beijing in February for the Games.

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© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211229-99-529417 / 2

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