On 8 July, the European Parliament held a vote on whether diplomatic officials should boycott the controversial Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. The non-binding resolution was overwhelmingly passed with 578 votes in favour, to just 29 against, 73 abstentions with cross-party support.
The MEPs called on EU officials and members states “to decline invitations for government representatives and diplomats to attend the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics unless the Chinese Government demonstrates a verifiable improvement in the human rights situation in Hong Kong, the Xinjiang Uyghur Region, Tibet, Inner Mongolia and elsewhere in China,” within the 28-point resolution.
This vote comes just a week ahead of a debate on a motion calling for a diplomatic boycott in the UK Parliament, set to take place next Thursday. Meanwhile, there were also separate calls for a boycott from the UK Labour Party.
In response to the flurry of activity against the Beijing 2022 Olympics games, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Wenbin, responded by saying: “I would like to reiterate that China firmly opposes the politicisation of sports and the interference in other countries’ internal affairs by using human rights issues as a pretext.”
The EU vote follows increasing tensions between the EU and China, as sanctions from both sides and the freezing of a trade deal have taken place between them in the last few months.
It also follows a Boycott Beijing 2022 Global Day of Action, which happened on 23 June, coordinated by various campaign groups across the world. It included actions taking place in Brussels, Belgium in front of the EU institutions.