Several political parties want a Danish diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in China

Denmark should follow the United States and implement a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in China, according to several political parties in the Danish parliament (Folketinget), media NordJyske reports. 

Other Danish political parties believe that one should either consider it – or consult other countries on the issue. Overall, a majority is open to a boycott. “I think it is appropriate that we form the government stays away from China,” DF’s foreign affairs spokesman, Søren Espersen said.

U.S. President Joe Biden has announced through a spokeswoman that the United States will implement a diplomatic boycott. It happens with reference to genocide and crimes against humanity. In a response from China’s Foreign Ministry, the country criticizes the US decision, adding that it is based on “lies and rumors”.

The Winter Olympics in Beijing will be held in February 2022.

NordJyske writes that China is known for playing with diplomatic muscles. Denmark noticed this last year when China demanded an apology from media Jyllands-Posten for a satire drawing that the newspaper had brought.

Earlier this week, the Liberal Party’s foreign affairs spokesman, Michael Aastrup Jensen, said that Denmark should do as the United States does. It will send the strongest possible political signal to the communist regime in China against their actions in Hong Kong, among other places. “There is a need for us to distance ourselves politically,” Michael Aastrup Nielsen said.

Referring to UN reports, he also believes that it indicates that the United States is right when the Americans say that a genocide is taking place in Xinjiang. 

SF’s political spokesman, Karsten Hønge, also supports a diplomatic boycott. “SF certainly supports a political, diplomatic boycott. But I also think it is important to do it together with other European countries, he said and continued: “To say one should not mix sports and politics is one of the most naive things one can say. Because that is exactly what authoritarian countries like China are doing.”

At the Radicals, foreign affairs spokesman Martin Lidegaard said that he believes it is important that a possible diplomatic boycott or other markings take place from a united EU. “In fact, I do not think it will be impossible to unite the EU on this point. The rhetoric and attitude towards China have become increasingly harsh in recent times,” he said.

The Unity List (Enhedslisten) believes that a diplomatic boycott should be considered. “In relation to the Winter Olympics in China, one must consider either a diplomatic boycott or a presence that focuses on respect for human rights,” said foreign affairs spokeswoman Eva Flyvholm.

The party has not yet looked closely at the announcement from the White House, the spokeswoman added.

The government – and the other parties in the Danish parliament – have not yet answered whether Denmark should refrain from sending official representatives to the Winter Olympics.

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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