New Zealand diplomats will not attend the Beijing Olympics, said Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson. He linked this decision to the spread of the coronavirus and the logistical difficulties it caused.
“We have already made it clear that we will not be present there at the ministerial level. There were many factors, but mostly due to COVID and the fact that the logistics of COVID travel is not conducive to such a business trip, ”said Mr Robertson on TVNZ (quoted from Reuters).
According to the prime minister, China was notified of New Zealand’s decision back in October. It went public after the United States announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, citing human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the country as a whole. The US initiative was supported by Australia even before its official announcement, but a decision on its diplomatic boycott of the Olympics has not yet been taken.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that, as an organization outside of politics, it respects the decision of the US government, and also approves that it will not affect the participation of athletes in the Games. Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, called the decision “political manipulation” and said that American politicians were not invited to the Olympics. The Beijing Olympic Games will be held from 4 to 20 February 2022.