New Zealand not sending diplomats to Beijing Olympics, cites COVID-19 – Community News
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New Zealand not sending diplomats to Beijing Olympics, cites COVID-19

A woman walks past the Beijing 2022 logo on display outside the headquarters of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games in Shougang Park, the site of a former steel mill, in Beijing, China, 10 November 2021. REUTERS /Thomas Peter

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WELLINGTON, Dec. 7 (Reuters) – New Zealand will not send ministerial-level diplomatic representatives to the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said Tuesday, citing COVID-19 as the reason.

The comments come after the United States said this week it would not send government officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics because of the “atrocities” of human rights in China. read more

“We have already made it clear that we will not be there at the ministerial level,” Robertson told reporters in parliament when asked about New Zealand’s position after the US diplomatic boycott of the games, state broadcaster TVNZ said. .

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Robertson said the move was not due to a US decision.

“There was a range of factors, but especially with COVID, and the fact that the logistics of travel and the like around COVID are not conducive to that kind of travel,” he said, adding that New Zealand’s decision in China was left to China. communicated in October.

He emphasized that New Zealand had previously raised human rights concerns with China.

“We have made it clear to China on numerous occasions that we are concerned about human rights issues – most recently when the Prime Minister spoke to President Xi. They are well aware of our view on human rights, but we had already made the decision not to .” attend,” he said.

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Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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