Denmark joins Olympics diplomatic boycott

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  • Jeppe Kofod
    Danish politician

Denmark, like a number of other countries, will not send official representatives to the Winter Olympics in China next month due to human rights concerns.

The decision was based on "an overall view of the situation," Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod told the Ritzau news agency late on Friday, adding Denmark's views on China's policies were no secret.

Kofod told the Danish radio station DR that the government will show its support to Danish athletes - just not in person in Beijing.

There has been a flurry of diplomatic boycotts against the Beijing Games since the United States announced in December that its officials were staying away even though its athletes are attending.

The US cited China's "ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang," referring to the crackdown on the Uighur population and other ethnic and religious minority groups in the western region.

Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and others have all joined the protest.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, on the other hand, will travel to Beijing for the opening ceremony on February 4.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is also due in the Chinese capital that day.

According to Kofod, the Danish government has tried to find a common line among the 27 European Union member countries on the issue but failed.

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