DHARAMSALA, 9 July: The European Parliament has overwhelming voted on a resolution calling for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics over continuing human rights abuses by the Chinese government.
The 28-point resolution passed by the European Parliament which acts as the European Union’s legislative branch called for EU officials and member states to decline all government and diplomatic invitations to the 2022 Winter Olympics “unless the Chinese government demonstrates a verifiable improvement in the human rights situation in Hong Kong, the Xinjiang Uyghur region, Tibet, Inner Mongolia and elsewhere in China,” The Guardian reported.
The resolution was passed with an overwhelming majority as it received 578 votes favoring the boycott while it was objected by 29, with 73 abstentions.
However, it was reportedly supported by all of Europe’s mainstream political groups, including the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) group of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the centrists of France’s Emmanuel Macron.
According to the report, “the non-binding resolution also called for governments to impose further sanctions, provide emergency visas to Hong Kong journalists and further support Hongkongers to move to Europe.”
China has condemned the resolution as the act of “a collection of the most radical and extreme ideologies in western society, providing a stage for various political vices attempting to draw wide attention.”
“At the [European parliament], regardless of facts, responsibility, and consequences, those anti-China forces just attempt to achieve the loudest voice and biggest impact,” read a commentary published on Chinese state-run Global Times.
It further called for the EU to “restrain themselves” and that “Beijing will not exchange China’s core interests for some European forces’ support of the Winter Olympic Games.”
Earlier in May, The Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi also called for a global diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on human rights grounds.
Meanwhile, calling for a diplomatic boycott of the Games in Beijing, a motion titled ‘Beijing Winter Olympics and Chinese government sanctions’ will be debated in the UK Parliament on 15 July led by the Tory MP Tim Loughton who is also the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet.
The Games are scheduled to begin on 4 Feb next year, but calls to boycott it continues to get steam.
Leading Tibetan NGOs along with a coalition of 180 rights groups across the world representing Tibet, Uyghur, Southern Mongolian, Hongkonger, Taiwanese, and Chinese people, along with other international human rights organisations declared that hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, legitimises China’s human rights abuses as they called on governments around the world to boycott the Olympics after their plea to the IOC to move the games fell before deaf ears in February.
The Tibetan parliament in exile unanimously approved a resolution at its 10th session on the 18th of March calling on the Tibetan cabinet, the parliament as well as all governmental and non-governmental Tibetan entities to launch a worldwide campaign of protests against the Beijing Olympics.