Ed Davey calls for Team GB to boycott the Chinese Winter Olympics over the genocide of the Uighurs

Ed Davey asked the Prime Minister this question yesterday.

Boris Johnson said he was appalled by the abuse of the Uighurs, but was not in favour of sporting boycotts.

What do our readers think?

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  • Paul Barker 25th Feb '21 - 5:14pm

    This is excellent & about time. This is just the sort of thing that Dictatorships dont like, it would be very hard to suppress all news of it & it means China,s Rulers losing face.

    Every time any Politician repeats the “Never Again” mantra we should talk loudly about the Fact that t is Happening Again & has been for Years.

  • John Marriott 25th Feb '21 - 5:28pm

    Now if a few top Winter Sports countries did the same, that would really have an impact. But little old Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 25th Feb '21 - 5:35pm

    Sense of decency from Ed, of absurdity from the PM!

  • Brad Barrows 25th Feb '21 - 6:21pm

    I’m afraid I don’t agree with this suggestion. Athletes have spent years training – and politicians think they should have to make the sacrifice of missing out on their chance to compete as way of making it appear that the UK is doing something? If we believe action should be taken real action is needed such as banning all trade.

  • Helen Dudden 25th Feb '21 - 6:50pm

    Of course, there should be a way to make it clear this is inhuman.
    I wouldn’t wish to go to a country, where there violations of human rights.

  • I think it would be great if we were to make a bold stance like this, but I sort-of agree with Brad in that a disproportionate amount of the sacrifice is being made by the athletes, and not the country as a whole, and definitely not politicians.

    That said, we need to do something, and that could (and probably should) include a boycott of the Winter Olympics. It would need to form part of a larger package of action, which should also include doing something for the athletes whose careers and livelihoods would be massively impacted by the move. For example, are we prepared to use tax payers money to compensate for the loss of sponsorship?

    Can we work with other nations to put on some kind of rival event or events? Clearly no single other country could host a rival Winter Olympics, but if we work with enough other countries, we might be able to hold a series of protest events for athletes not going to Beijing. So there could be ski jumping in Austria, downhill skiing in Canada. We could host the curling!

    On top of that, we need to specify what we want to achieve. At the minute, it’s a protest against genocide, which we want to end, but what does that entail? What do the Chinese need to do in order for us to think it’s OK to attend the Games? We need to make demands if we want to do more than register our disgust.

  • Boycotting a Winter Olympics is not “a bold stance”. A trade ban on cheap imported Chinese goods would be. And, has Sir Edward consulted Sir Daniel Alexander vice president and corporate secretary of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank based in Beijing ?

  • I suspect it would hurt our athletes much more than the Chinese government.

    Concerted international action is the only thing that China might worry about. Good luck with arranging that, Ed.

  • No matter what anyone says money and self interest will always top any agenda and always has done, but it does no harm to be on the right side of the argument.

  • I’d have been more impressed if Davey had taken such a bold stance himself back when he was courting Chinese investment in UK nuclear.

    Maybe he has had an epiphany now he doesn’t have to make the hard choices himself?

    Western governments have turned a blind eye to this sort of thing for decades. The oppression hasn’t only just started. So it rings rather hollow for those same politicians to expect athletes to do things that they themselves wouldn’t (didn’t) countenance.

  • Dan makes a fair point.

    Is this the same Sir Edward Davey who negotiated the deal for Chinese manufactured nuclear reactors via EDF at Hinckley Point power station when he was a member of the Coalition Cabinet ?

  • Barry Lofty 26th Feb '21 - 2:18pm

    Is it also fair to say that the present government is hardly likely to upset the Chinese when ” oven ready” trade deals are not quite so easy to come by?

  • David Evershed 2nd Mar '21 - 12:40am

    Boycott sport only after two way trade with China has been boycotted.

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