No official delegation to Winter Games, emphatically no boycott

The Netherlands will not send a government delegation to the Winter Olympics in China next month. The reason for the decision is that no Dutch spectators should also be present, let Foreign Affairs know.

King Willem-Alexander previously announced not to travel to Beijing for the same reason. The fact that both the king and the political delegation remain at home has nothing to do with the diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games by a number of countries, according to the authorities.

The stay at home of the diplomatic delegation was decided today in the Council of Ministers. The consideration also contributes to the fact that there is hardly any possibility of consultation with the Chinese authorities due to the pandemic. In such conversations, Dutch diplomats would always discuss the major concerns about the human rights situation in China, a ministry spokesperson says.

Boycott

The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, among others, are not sending a political delegation to the Winter Games in Beijing. The athletes from these countries are present at the sporting events. According to this group of countries, the purpose of the boycott is to send a strong signal against human rights violations in Xinjiang province of China.

The Chinese government calls the boycott a smear campaign. Beijing has always firmly denied that the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang are being suppressed.

Denmark

Denmark will not send an official diplomatic delegation to the Winter Olympics in Beijing over human rights issues in the host country, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said shortly after the Dutch decision was announced.

โ€œIts no secret that Denmark is very concerned about the human rights situation in China,โ€ Kofod said. โ€œThe government has decided that we will not send an official delegation to the Winter Olympics in China.โ€