France has no plans to join the US and others in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday, calling such a move “insignificant”.
“To be clear, you’re going on a full boycott and don’t send athletes, or you’re trying to change things up with helpful actions,” he told a news conference, adding that he was “for action with a helpful outcome.”
“I haven’t heard anyone in the world say, let’s not send our athletes,” Macron said. “So we’re talking about something quite symbolic.”
France would instead work with the International Olympic Committee on a charter guaranteeing the protection of athletes “given what has happened in recent weeks,” Macron said in a clear reference to the case of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who was jailed for three weeks. disappeared after she made social media allegations of sexual assault against a former top Communist Party politician.
“I don’t think we should politicize these topics, especially when it comes to taking insignificant and symbolic steps,” he said.
On Wednesday, Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada followed suit, announcing diplomatic boycotts of the Beijing Games over concerns about China’s human rights record.
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