Boris Johnson has been urged to pull out of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics as tensions between the two countries near breaking point. Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith has called on the Government to boycott the games in response to alleged human rights violations by the host nation.
He said: “China is dictatorial, aggressive and intolerant.
“I don’t see how any self-respecting British citizen could go there to endorse this regime.
“From the torture and sterilisation of Uighur Muslims to the smashing of the Sino-British agreement over Hong Kong and the arrests of decent people in Hong Kong under the new National Security Law.”
As a result, the Tory MP called for the UK Government to lobby the International Olympic Committee to “boycott” the games and “change the venue”.
But what do you think, should the UK pull out of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of the Chinese government?
IDS isn’t the only one calling on the Government to pull out of the prestigious international sporting event.
Alan Mendoza, of foreign policy think-tank The Henry Jackson Society, added: “Until China starts playing by the rules, the only salute we should be giving them is a two-fingered one.”
Other politicians across the globe have also aired concerns about Beijing hosting the games, including leading voices in the US.
US senator Marco Rubio said in 2018 that China should lose the right to host the event because of the “dire human rights situation” in Xinjiang.
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Critics say the law undermines the “one country, two systems” framework.
Under the new controversial law, Beijing can enforce severe penalties on citizens.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab responded to the implementation of the new law by claiming it was a “serious violation” of the country’s obligations.
The UK then offered around three million Hong Kong residents enhanced residency rights should they wish to come to the UK – and a route to possible citizenship.
Tensions were also heightened after Britain decided to remove Huawei’s technology from its 5G network.
The UK said that Huawei must be stripped of its role in Britain’s 5G network by 2027.
The Government also announced no new Huawei 5G kit can be installed after December 31 this year.
Beijing was quick to lash out at the UK and heavily condemned the move.
The UK has also stepped up its criticism of China’s record on human rights referencing the Uighur population in Xinjiang province.
Mr Raab told the BBC reports of forced sterilisation and wider persecution of the Muslim group were “reminiscent of something not seen for a long time”.
China’s UK ambassador, Liu Xiaoming, has denied reports Beijing is carrying out a programme of sterilisation of Uighur women in the western Xinjiang region.