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Unlike Sweden, Denmark faces a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics

Unlike Sweden, Denmark faces a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics

Denmark’s Foreign Minister, Jeppe Kofod, announced yesterday that his country is facing a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. At the same time it was announced that the Danish government would not send any representatives to the Olympics, so As emphasized How it is no secret that people in Denmark are concerned about the human rights situation in China.

The decision comes after the European Union, during a meeting in Brest, France, this week, failed to agree on a joint diplomatic boycott. jeep kofod underlined at the same time How has the Danish government actively worked to try to achieve such a common boycott of the Winter Olympics within the Federation?

One country that may have opposed this Danish attempt is Sweden. Then came the Swedish authorities at the beginning of this week announce That no representative will be sent to Beijing, Sports Minister Anders Eggman at the same time made it clear that the decision was due to the ongoing epidemic and that it was in no way a diplomatic boycott.

Admittedly, this was no surprise. Secretary of State Ann Linde already said on Christmas Eve in an interview with Swedish daily newspaper That she would not go to Beijing in connection with the Olympics, she answered a direct question that other government representatives “hardly” would not.

Linde also said it was not possible to reach an agreement within the European Union on a boycott of the Games. However, it is interesting to take a closer look at how different Sweden and Denmark approach the issue, and how that places the two countries in distinctly different camps.

The Danish position is difficult to explain in more detail. The government opposes the human rights violations taking place in China, and therefore will not go to Beijing for the Olympics.

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In comparison, the Swedish approach can be described as wanting to keep the cake and eat it, or at least avoid taking a position in a way that risks angering the Chinese regime. So, one stays home from the Olympics, but specifically says that this is only due to Covid-19.

The decision sparked criticism from the opposition. Criticism is summarized in Discussion Articles, but can participate in it in a more worthy way through the interrogation discussion that was held in Parliament yesterday on this subject.

There, members David Josephson (man) and Humbus Hagman (KD) put Sports Minister Anders Yagman against a wall. In addition to useful information, the discussion is also very entertaining, and it can be seen in the player below or via Riksdag website With full transcription.

To sum up the 25-minute discussion very succinctly, Anders Ygeman begins by stressing that a decision not to go to the Beijing Winter Olympics would equate to a decision not to go to the Tokyo Olympics last summer as well.

His main point of defense against debaters – to which Egemann returned several times – is that the Swedish government at least went to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, when Sweden was ruled by a coalition of moderates and Christian Democrats.

Furthermore, the Sports Minister questions whether the two counter-arguments actually had the support of their respective parties in this important decision.

After David Josephson and Hampus Hagman made it clear that their two parties supported a diplomatic boycott with the Group of Democracies that had already declared one, and made clear that the political situation in China had deteriorated dramatically since 2008, Hagman pointed to one. something important.

That is, the Swedish de facto decision takes a position that it does not take a position through a diplomatic boycott.

By explicitly emphasizing that the non-existence is not related to the diplomatic boycott, the government has actively made clear that human rights abuses or the political situation in China do not play a role in the decision.

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Josephson also stresses how important it is that the secretary of state sent the sports minister to present and discuss the government’s position on the issue at the start of the week. As we have seen above, in the case of Denmark it was a matter of the foreign minister.

In fact, Ann Lindy doesn’t seem to be very familiar with the matter at all. In an interview with Svenska dagbladet on Christmas Eve, she stated the startling information that Norway’s Foreign Minister and French President Emmanuel Macron will go to the Olympics in Beijing.

In the interview behind the paywall Anne Linde quotes As follows:

But isn’t this a Swedish diplomatic boycott then?

We don’t talk about counties or anything like that. I note that my Norwegian colleague is leaving. They have a different view of it and think it is important to support the athletes, but the Norwegian foreign minister said she will have meetings where she raises difficult issues. At the same time, French President Macron is leaving.

It’s hard to judge if Lindy got it wrong, or she doesn’t know what she’s talking about or knows someone that we all know.

In any case, I could not confirm that the Norwegian foreign minister plans to be in Beijing, and that Macron’s presence would be nothing short of world news. So far, as far as I know, only the leaders of Russia and Kazakhstan have stated their intention to go there.

However, Sweden’s work on this issue is by no means unique. On the contrary, most of the world’s governments are likely to do the same; Do not send any representatives but do not agree that this is a diplomatic boycott.

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Besides Denmark so Include those countries They also officially announced that they will implement a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics alongside the United States, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Lithuania and New Zealand.

Then there are many countries that can be assessed as border states. Japan announced early on that it would not send any government representatives to the Olympics, as it considers it important for China to guarantee political and civil rights and respect human rights and the rule of law.

This is a similar statement to Denmark with a difference Japanese Cabinet Secretary added It “does not intend to use the given phrase,” referring to the Olympics boycott.

Then we have the Dutch government, which also confirmed yesterday that it will not be present in Beijing.

The Dutch also mentioned that Covid-19 is the main reason for the decision, while at the same time express dissatisfaction On how pandemic restrictions mean it was not possible to hold meetings on the human rights situation that were necessary for it to make sense to send a government delegation.

However, nothing like this is heard from the Swedish government. Here are practical reasons instead given the current situation around Covid-19 The only reason given by the Minister of Sports.

And in the Riksdag scramble The sports minister’s action indicated that China had been a one-party state since 1949, but that the coalition government was still in place during the Summer Olympics in Beijing fourteen years ago and therefore has no mandate to question how the matter is handled nowadays.