Thank you for contacting me about the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
I note your concerns about suitability of China hosting this event, whether because of its disregard for the rights of the citizens of Hong Kong or for human rights violations in Tibet and against the Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang. The UK has repeatedly raised these concerns with China, and I am assured that the UK will continue to work with our international allies to hold China to account for its actions and urge it to live up to its responsibilities.
In regard to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, it is the responsibility of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to decide the host cities for the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Team GB’s participation in any Olympic Games is regulated by the British Olympic Association which is a privately funded organisation independent of Government.
As the National Olympic Committee for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Olympic Association must act in line with the Olympic Charter. I was pleased to learn that the IOC has strengthened its human rights approach in recent years.
My ministerial colleagues at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office inform me that no decisions have yet been made about the Government's attendance at the Games. As such, I am happy to make them aware of all the points being raised ahead of any decision being finalised.
It would not be appropriate to speculate on future designations under the UK's Global Human Rights sanctions regime as to do so could reduce the impact of such designations. I am assured that designations are kept under constant review.
I am aware that the issue of individual British athletes’ attendance at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games has been raised and that the Government will consider this matter carefully with an awareness of the huge investment that is made by athletes into their training.
I am aware of speculations of sanctions being given out by China in the event of any country boycotting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. In the end, Team GB’s attendance is a matter for the British Olympic Association.
I am assured that ministers are monitoring developments relating to this event closely, and will continue to raise issues of concern with China, bilaterally and at the UN.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP