Taiwan becomes latest country to announce diplomatic boycott of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

DHARAMSALA, 27 Jan: Taiwan has become the latest country to declare the diplomatic boycott of the soon to be held 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Owing to concerns that China would slight Taiwan during the Games, Taiwanese officials are poised to boycott next month’s Beijing Winter Olympics, The Taipei Times reported citing an official in the know. 

 “A Cabinet-appointed task force has determined that Taiwan’s delegation would abstain from the opening and closing ceremonies, and limit its role to looking after the nation’s athletes,” the report added citing an official on condition of anonymity.

The task force that constitutes the Executive Yuan, the Ministry of Education and the Mainland Affairs Council, was reportedly “concerned that the presence of a delegation would give legitimacy to diplomatic slights that Beijing is sure to make against Taiwan,” the official has said.

The official has further stated that “the Winter Games is the most significant platform for China to push its propaganda that Taiwan is a part of its sovereign territory,” and that China has already made it public, their decision to refer to “Taiwan as ‘Chinese Taipei’ in the ceremonies as part of Beijing’s campaign to denigrate the nation on the international stage.”

Additionally, citing the self-ruled island’s intelligence community, the official has stated in the report that “Beijing intends to display pro-unification messages, refer to Taiwan as ‘Chinese Taipei’ and prominently feature Taiwanese volunteers in its propaganda videos.”

“Considering the limited number of participants and the previous precedent that our side’s officials were often absent, no official representatives will be sent,” Taiwan’s China-policy-making Mainland Affairs Council has said in a statement it issued and added that “Taiwan’s Olympic committee will lead a delegation to China and handle matters related to the Games.”

Taiwanese officials also gave the 2008 Beijing Summer Games a miss, though three senior politicians did attend the event. 

Taiwan’s Olympic committee has said that at least four athletes from the island have already qualified for the games, the same number of athletes Taiwan sent at the last Winter Games in South Korea in 2018.

The Games are scheduled to be held over 4 -20 Feb, but calls to boycott it continue to get steam over China’s crimes against humanity and genocide.

Taiwan now joins the likes of the US, the UK, Lithuanian, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, Belgium, Canada, Denmark and Kosovo who have all announced the  diplomatic boycott of the 

Besides,  the Olympic and Paralympic Committee of countries such as the US, UK, Canada, Dutch and Australia have all reportedly issued similar advice to their  “athletes, coaches and staff to refrain from using their personal electronic devices while in China due to surveillance concerns, and use ‘burner’ phones rather than their cellphones.”

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