Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics – UPSC GS2

Context: India has decided to do a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
What is a diplomatic boycott?
  • In normal circumstances, high-ranking officials from a country’s government travel to the Olympics. These officials are labelled as the ‘VIP visitors’.
  • Diplomatic boycott means countries will not send ‘VIP visitors’ delegations to Beijing during the Games.
  • Only players from India will go to participate.
  • A “full” boycott would mean athletes from said countries wouldn’t be permitted to compete.
Why did India announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics?
  • China decided to have a PLA regiment commander who sustained head injury while fighting in the Galwan Valley border skirmish with India, as torchbearer during the ‘Torch Relay’.
  • In response, India announced a diplomatic ban on the Beijing Winter Olympics.
  • India had termed the appointment “regrettable” and criticized the politicization of the games.
What is Other Countries’ Response to the Diplomatic Boycott?
  • Along with the U.S. and India, other participating countries include Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Denmark and Estonia have diplomatically banned these games.
  • The U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia had announced a diplomatic boycott of the games to protest Beijing’s human rights record in the Uighur Muslim majority province of Xinjiang.
  • The U.S. had voiced its concerns of “Beijing’s pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate its neighbours.”
What are the consequences of the diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic games?
  • Experts in human rights say diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China has the potential to be more than a symbolic gesture.
  • This diplomatic boycott isn’t a full-on protest of the games, and won’t prevent athletes from participating in the 2022 Olympics.
  • There are also fears that the move led by the US could provoke China to do the same. The US and Australia are the hosts of the Summer Olympics in 2028 (Los Angeles) and 2032 (Brisbane).
Scroll to Top