New Zealand diplomats won't attend Winter Olympics in China

The US said earlier its government officials will boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in China. PHOTO: REUTERS

WELLINGTON (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - New Zealand will not be represented at a diplomatic level at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February next year, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said.

"We've already made clear that we won't be there at a ministerial level," Mr Robertson told Television New Zealand on Tuesday (Dec 7) in Wellington.

"We made that clear to China, I think, in October and so for us, that's a decision we've already made."

The United States said earlier that its government officials will boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in China due to concerns about "crimes against humanity" and other human rights abuses, although its athletes are free to compete there.

There is no suggestion that New Zealand athletes would not compete at the Games.

Mr Robertson said there was a range of factors behind New Zealand's decision not to send diplomatic representatives and it was "mostly to do with Covid-19 and the fact that the logistics of travel and so on around Covid-19 are not conducive to that kind of trip".

He added: "But we've made clear to China on numerous occasions our concerns about human rights issues."

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