Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehamme confirmed on Dec. 14 that no high-ranking officials from Austria would attend the 2022 Beijing Olympics, according to The Associated Press.
Nehamme addressed it was not a diplomatic boycott. Instead, the officials were skipping the games because of China’s strict COVID-19 protocols.
He explained, “So there is no use in politicians or diplomats from Austria traveling to China to speak by videoconference with our athletes there—then I prefer to meet our athletes personally in Vienna.”
The Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the sports event on Dec. 6, including that no officials will attend the games.
It was to protest the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuse. The regime is accused of conducting genocide practices against religious and minority groups. That includes torture, systemic rape, forced labor, forced sterilization, forced organ harvesting, and murder by suicide.
The UK, Canada, and Australia have followed the U.S.’s footsteps. The European Union (EU), of which Austria is one of 27 members, will discuss on Dec. 16 whether to support the U.S.-led diplomatic boycott.