Australia has joined a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, prime minister Scott Morrison has revealed.
Speaking in Sydney on Wednesday morning, Morrison said Australian officials would not attend the Games but athletes would still attend.
Morrison said the decision was in response to human rights abuses in Xinjiang and “many other issues that Australia has consistently raised”.
“We have been raising a number of issues that have not been received well in China and there has been a disagreement on those matters,” he told reporters.
The move mirrors a decision by the US this week to not send any diplomats or officials to the Winter Olympics, also allowing its athletes to compete.
New Zealand has also announced it will not send officials to the Games.
China responded angrily to the US boycott, criticising Washington’s move as “politicising sports” and risking “bilateral dialogue and cooperation in important areas”.
Morrison said the Australian government had been open to meet with the Chinese government to talk about the concerns.
“There’s been no obstacles to that occurring on our side,” he said. “It’s not surprising, therefore, that Australian government officials would therefore not be going to those games.”