German Interior Ministry in light of US discussion of a boycott of the Olympics in China reminded of the autonomy of sport

Earlier, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the United States intended to discuss with its foreign allies and partners the idea of a possible boycott of the Olympic Games in China

The German government is in dialogue with partners, including the United States, on the issue of hosting the Olympics in China and believes that sports organisations should decide for themselves which competitions they participate in. A spokeswoman for Germany’s Interior Ministry, which is responsible for sports development in the country, said this at a briefing on Wednesday.

“In principle, I can say that sports autonomy operates, which means that a sports association has the right to decide which competitions to participate in and which not”, – the spokeswoman said. –  “Otherwise, of course, negotiations are ongoing with all our partners, i.e. the US as well”, –  she added.

Earlier, at a regular briefing for journalists, State Department press chief Ned Price said the United States intended to discuss with its foreign allies and partners the idea of a possible boycott of the Chinese Olympic Games. In doing so, he argued that Beijing was responsible for various serious human rights violations, in particular in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

Calls for a boycott of next year’s Winter Games, to be hosted by China, have previously been made by politicians from Canada, Norway, the US, as well as representatives of nearly 200 human rights organisations from various countries. The reason was the mass repression in Xinjiang, which was attributed to China. Meanwhile, as Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian noted, Beijing categorically opposes the politicization of sports by individual countries and organizations that try to disrupt major competitions and interfere in the internal affairs of other states under the slogan of protecting human rights. The US National Olympic Committee, as its head Susan Lyons clarified on 10 March, does not support a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.

The XXIV Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing from 4 to 20 February 2022.

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