Canada said Wednesday it will join the United States and other countries in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics in February.
“As many (of our) partners around the world, we are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference.
Rights groups have called for a full-blown boycott of the Winter Games, citing Chinese human rights abuses and suppression of democratic protests.
“That is why we are announcing today that we will not be sending any diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games this winter.”
Canadian athletes will compete in the Games, he said.
The move follows the United States announcing Monday its diplomatic boycott, over what Washington termed China’s “genocide” of the Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang region and other human rights abuses.
Australia and Britain also said Wednesday that their officials would stay away.
The allies have a growing discord with China over a slew of issues that has plunged relations into the most serious crisis since the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989.
Canada in particular saw its relations with China plunge into a deep freeze over Beijing’s detention of two Canadian nationals in response to Canada’s arrest on a US warrant of Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder.
All three were released and repatriated in September.
Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said Canada needed to send a strong message to Beijing.