Government ministers and members of the royal family should boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing unless China allows UN investigators to examine alleged human rights abuses.
The call from Labour urges Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to announce a political boycott if Beijing refuses to allow a thorough investigation into alleged atrocities in Xinjiang province.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy and shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens have written to their counterparts arguing a political response is needed to deny China “a PR coup” next year.
The Labour MPs said:
“We are now calling on you to use the occasion of the games to press the case for unfettered UN access to Xinjiang to conduct a full, transparent and independent investigation. If this is not granted, the British government should not send ministers, royal family members or senior representatives to participate in any official duties or ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics.”
“The Chinese government will want the games to be a diplomatic success. A political boycott by the UK and other states would send a strong signal of the deep global concern with the plight of the Uyghur and prevent the games being a PR exercise for the Chinese authorities.”
But Labour stopped short of calling for a sporting boycott arguing that it would not be fair on members of Team GB who have trained for 4-years for the chance to take part, or on the Chinese people who are not responsible for the situation.
Beijing has always strongly denied international claims about the treatment of Uyghur muslims in Xinjiang, despite reports indicating that more than a million people have been detained.