Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab refused to rule out a U.K. boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games in 2022 over alleged abuses of China’s Uighur Muslim minority.
“My instinct is to separate sport from diplomacy and politics but there comes a point where that may not be possible,” Raab said when pressed by a panel of lawmakers in London on Tuesday. “Let’s consider in the round what further action we need to take.”
China has denied mistreating the largely Muslim minority, but multiple countries have accused the regime of human rights abuses including forced labor and compulsory sterilization of women.
Raab said the U.K. strategy is to engage with Beijing, telling MPs he wants a Chinese delegation to attend the COP26 United Nations climate talks scheduled to be held in Scotland next year.
“I want China in the room on the UN climate change talks that we host because I think first of all they make a big difference in their own right, but they also shape the policy approaches of developing countries,” Raab said. “It’s best to work with China.”
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