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Australia, New Zealand joins US in boycotting Beijing Olympics

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Australia and New Zealand have joined the United States in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the decision was in response to “human rights abuses” in China’s Xinjiang province and “many other issues that Australia has consistently raised”.

Athletes would still attend, he added.

Australia’s announcement comes as New Zealand declares it will not be sending diplomatic representatives either.

NZ’s Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said no representatives at a ministerial level will be sent to the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, citing COVID-19 as the reason.

Scott Morrison confirms Australian boycott of Beijing games. / Image: File

China has condemned the US announcement and threatened to retaliate against the move but didn’t provide further details

On Monday, the US said it would not send diplomats to the Games in Beijing over concerns about China’s human rights record.

Australia’s PM said it was “no surprise” that Australia had joined the boycott, given relations with China had deteriorated in recent years, at a rapid pace.

“I’m doing it because it’s in Australia’s national interest,” he said on Wednesday.

Beijing 2022 / Image: File

“It’s the right thing to do.”

He accused China of rejecting opportunities to improve relations, insisting Australia remained open to bilateral talks.

At a media briefing on Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused the US of violating “political neutrality in sport” and said the proposed boycott was “based on lies and rumours”.

The United States has accused China of genocide in its repression of the predominantly Muslim Uyghur minority in the western region of Xinjiang – an allegation China has strongly denied.

Relations are also strained over China’s suppression of political freedoms in Hong Kong, and because of concerns for the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who was not seen for weeks after she accused a top government official of assault.

China to stop building coal energy plants abroad
Tensions with China continue to escalate / Image: File

Canberra has increasingly come to view China as a security threat amid allegations that Beijing has interfered in Australian politics and society

It has also raised concerns over two Australian citizens who remain imprisoned in China.

According to the BBC, Pro-democracy writer Yang Hengjun has denied charges of espionage and allegedly faced torture since his arrest in January 2019. Journalist Cheng Lei has been held without charge since August last year.

Other countries, including Canada and Japan are also said to be considering diplomatic boycotts of the Games.

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Essential daily protein needs for better health

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Protein is a fundamental macronutrient essential for various bodily functions, including muscle repair, enzyme production, and immune system support.

Daily protein requirements can vary significantly based on factors such as activity levels, age, and gender.

To help unpack this topic, Kate Save from BeFitFood joins to share her key insights. #featured

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Can big tech be trusted to use AI ethically?

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Big tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and IBM announced comprehensive plans to enhance AI safety measures – but is that enough to convince the everyday worker?

On this episode of Ahron & Mike Live – Can big tech be trusted with AI? “The Fall Guy” takes a hard hit, Apple’s Top Ten controversy and a robot performs surgery on a piece of corn.

Ticker’s Ahron Young & Mike Loder discuss. #featured

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Biden slams the brakes on EV overcapacity

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President Biden has imposed new tariffs on Chinese EV imports, just as the Chinese EV industry is facing a critical challenge: overcapacity.

The move comes amidst escalating trade tensions between the two economic giants, with repercussions likely to reverberate across the automotive sector.

David Zhang, the China Insider explores this issue and more. #featured #trending

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