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Richmond activist calls for ‘full boycott’ of Winter Olympic Games in China

Canadian government officials to not attend the Beijing Winter Olympic games over "extremely concerning" human rights abuses in the host country.
Beijing 2008 Summer Games Fireworks
The 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing.

The federal government's decision to stage a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games doesn’t go far enough, according to Richmond resident, Bill Chiu.

A "full boycott" would deliver more justice, added Chiu, an outspoken Richmond activist who has been advocating for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games since early last year.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada was "extremely concerned" about China's human rights abuses, so, along with a number of alias, would boycott the Games diplomatically, meaning Canadian government officials won't attend but athletes are free to compete.

Chiu said he is glad the federal government has decided to do something but wishes it would do more.

"If I were a Canadian athlete, I wouldn't go there for many reasons, especially security issues. Also, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has been using these Games as a platform to spread their propaganda, trying to influence the West," said Chiu.

"I know my call for a full boycott won't put a dent on the current situation, but I still want to repeat the message that more needs to be done at the federal level to control China's influence in Canada."

Chiu said the PRC probably thinks Canadians will soon forget about Michael Spavor and Michael Korvig being arbitrarily detained in China for nearly three years and resume our former relationship.

"However, we should never forget the pain of those Canadians. We should learn from our allies such as Australia and take a tougher approach to China," said Chiu.

Meanwhile, Trudeau said Canada will do everything necessary to ensure the safety of the country's athletes who will attend the Games.

The United States was the first country to announce its diplomatic boycott Monday.  Australia and the United Kingdom quickly followed suit.

China denies allegations of human rights abuses and is accusing the United States of upending the political neutrality of sport.

Trudeau said that Canada's decision shouldn't come as a surprise to China, given that Canada has repeatedly expressed concerns about China’s human rights track record.

-with files from Canadian Press

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