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“It’s China and the West” – Does China care about diplomatic boycotts?



As multiple countries across the world follow the United States’ move to boycott China’s 2022 Beijing Olympics, is China really phased by the action?

Canada and the UK are the latest to join a growing list of countries including the United States, Australia and New Zealand in not sending government officials to the games next year.

Most nations, besides New Zealand have cited China’s human rights abuses as the reason for their boycott, as tensions between western nations and the communist nation continue to escalate at rapid speed.

Canada is the most recent to join the boycott, with government officials stating that they are continuously disappointed that China has failed to act on its human rights record.

Ebony Bennet tells ticker NEWS China is acting like they “don’t care” / Image: File

Speaking to reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would not be sending an official delegation to the games, which will be held from February 4 to 20 in the Chinese capital.

Does China really care?

China has responded to the diplomatic action, but insist they ‘aren’t phased’ – instead the Chinese government says they’ll responsive action to those that continue to boycott.

China’s foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters that the United States is attempting to interfere with the Games “out of ideological prejudice and based on lies and rumours.”

The spokesperson said China would respond with “resolute countermeasures,” with no further information on what those measures will be.

Mr Zhao then went on to tell the United States to “stop politicizing sports” and to stop, in his words, undermining the Olympics. He continued, saying, “otherwise it will undermine the dialogue and cooperation between the two countries in a series of important areas and international issues.

The comments from China come as Australia’s Prime Minister stated that his country will be making a stance against China, but reiterated that players from Oz will still compete.

“China and the West”

Speaking to ticker NEWS, the Australia Institute’s Ebony Bennett says the situation has now become about China vs the West.

“It isn’t a good look for China”

“China has responded aggressively rejecting that all these assertions that there is human rights abuses in China to begin with”

Australia has been mocked by China over its decision to follow the United States and announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Chinese newspaper The Global Times shared two cartoons on their website, depicting what it described as Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s “lack of an independent policy” and “acting as a henchman” of the US.

The first image shared to Twitter showed a kangaroo holding a balloon emblazoned with the US flag floating in the sky.

The account shared a post from Sydney Morning Herald on the news of the boycotting, captioning it “No.1 Us lackey,” alongside hand clapping emojis.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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TikTok CEO testifies as U.S. considers nationwide ban



FBI says TikTok threatens U.S. national security

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

The hours-long fiery hearing on Capitol Hill was incredibly tense as Chew was grilled by both Republicans and Democrats.

With bipartisan support, both parties are pushing for a nationwide ban on the app which the FBI has said threatens the national security of the United States.

TikTok says it has 150 million America users – almost half the country.

The CEO gave testimony to try and reassure lawmakers and Americans that TikTok is not an agent of the Chinese Communist Party, but critics aren’t convinced.

Chew was bombarded with questions from representatives from both sides of the aisle about the company’s ties to the CCP, security, data storage, well-being, and mental health. 

Many lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of answers from the company.

Congress is now weighing a nationwide ban on the popular social media platform amid concerns that it is used to harvest Americans’ information and harm children online.

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Protests continue across France over pension reforms



Protestors blocked a terminal at an airport and sat on train tracks

The ongoing nationwide protests in France over plans by the government to raise the retirement age by two years saw another day of disruption – events which President Emmanuel Macron has recently compared to the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters two years ago.

Protestors blocked a terminal at Paris’s Charles De Gaulle airport.

Protesters also sat on train tracks, and reportedly triggered a brief fire in the yard of a police station in once city.

Protests have been mostly peaceful, but tear gas has been used against them on occasions.

The plan is to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

For comparison, the U.S. is slowly raising its retirement age to 67 and the UK plans to go to 68.

Polls have long shown that a majority of voters in France oppose the move.

Macron earlier in the week said he was standing firm on the law and that it would come into effect by the end of the year.

The government says the change is needed to keep pension budgets from running a deficit – failure would create an annual deficit of about $14 billion by 2030.

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Prosecutors allege Donald Trump misled people on potential arrest



The move prompted Republicans in Congress to interfere with the course of justice

Manhattan prosecutors say Donald Trump has misled people to expect he would be arrested, prompting Republicans in Congress to interfere with the course of justice.

A probe is currently under way into his alleged hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

On Saturday, the former President said he would be arrested on Tuesday.

This saw three Republicans launching an offensive against the District Attorney, who is a Democrat.

They accused him of abusing authority, while also seeking communications, documents and testimony.

A grand jury hearing evidence in the Stormy Daniels case is yet to issue an arrest warrant for Trump.

The attorney’s office has since sent the committee chairmen a letter.

It says the lawmakers’ accusations “only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation he would be arrested”.

It also confirms the attorney’s office is “investigating allegations that Donald Trump engaged in violations of New York State penal law.”

If indicted, Trump would be the first U.S. President to face criminal charges.

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