MPs Pile Pressure on EU, Canada to Stage Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Games

December 8, 2021

European and Canadian parliamentarians have called on their governments to decline invitations to attend the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics following announcements of a diplomatic boycott of the Games by the US, UK, Australia and others.

Members of the cross-party Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) in the European Parliament, Germany, France, Canada, Czechia, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Ireland have released a coordinated series of letters calling on senior government ministers not to attend the Games.

The letters, an English translation of which is attached, cites the credible cases of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity in the Uyghur Region and the crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. The letters say that leaders attending the Games will risk lending “further legitimacy to the Chinese government’s efforts to whitewash the abuses taking place in the Uyghur Region” and will act as “willing participants in the PRC government’s propaganda campaign.”

Prominent signatories to the letters include Members of the European Parliament Miriam Lexmann and Reinhard Bütikofer, both of whom have been subject to Chinese government sanctions for their advocacy on Uyghur human rights; French Senator André Gattolin; Canadian MP Garnett Genuis and former Czech Presidential candidate Pavel Fischer.

The moves follow successful campaigns by IPAC members in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Lithuania, which have all announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games in recent days.

Senator André Gattolin said:

“As the atrocities continue in the Uyghur Region, Tibet and Hong Kong, it is unthinkable that our state leaders will condone these Games. Our Government ministers must state clearly that they will not attend the Beijing Olympics. The US, UK and Australia have made the first move. There can be no excuse for Europe not to follow.”


  • The letters were sent in a coordinated release on the 8th of December 2021.
  • An English translation of the letters, addressees and signatures are attached below.
  • The letters were sent separately in each legislature but followed the same main text. Individual copies of the letters sent to each government are available on request and will be shared from the IPAC Twitter account

Letter text (English version)

Dear Minister,

Next year’s Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will take place amidst industrial scale human rights abuses in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Hong Kong.  

In the Uyghur Region, the PRC government is carrying out a brutal campaign of persecution against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim Turkic groups. Abuses include the internment of at least one million individuals, widespread forced labour and mass forced sterilization. A growing number of legal investigations have found credible cases for Genocide and crimes against humanity in the Uyghur Region.

This week, new evidence contained within the Xinjiang Papers have revealed the role of President Xi Jinping, Chen Quanguo and other senior Chinese government officials in directing repressive policies in the Uyghur Region. Meanwhile, the PRC government continues its crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and persecutes Tibetans and other religious and ethnic minorities.  

Against this background, it is unthinkable that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics should continue as normal. It is right that sport should stay above politics, but this does not permit turning a blind eye to industrial scale human rights abuses.

We call on you to publicly confirm that you will not accept any invitations to attend the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics or its associated events. Failure to do so will only lend further legitimacy to the Chinese government’s efforts to whitewash the abuses taking place in the Uyghur Region and elsewhere. Public figures attending the Games risk acting as willing participants in the PRC government’s propaganda campaign.

Only standing in solidarity with victims of persecution and upholding the cause of human dignity will we stay true to the values which the Olympic Games are founded upon.

We look forward to your response.

Your sincerely,


List of addressees

European Parliament

Charles Michel, President of the European Council

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament


Président de la République, Emmanuel Macron

Premier Ministre, Jean Castex

Roxana Maracineanu, Minister for Sports

Sarah El Haïry, Secretary for Youth

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Foreign Affairs


Chancellor Olaf Scholz

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck

Vice-Chancellor Christian Lindner

Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock

Minister Christine Lambrecht


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,

Foreign Minister Melanie Joly,

Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge,


Prime Minister Andrej Babiš MP


Federal Councillor Cassis

Federal Councillor Amherd


Statsminister Magdalena Andersson

Utrikesminister Ann Linde

Idrottsminister Anders Ygeman

H.M Konung Carl XVI Gustaf

H.K.H Kronprinsessan Victoria


HRH Crown Prince Frederik

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen

Minister of Culture Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen

The Netherlands

Prime Minister Mark Rutte,

Foreign Minister Ben Knapen,

Minister for Sport Hugo de Jonge


Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre


An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD;

An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar TD;

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Simon Coveney TD;

Minister of State for Sport, Jack Chambers TD.

List of signatories

European Parliament

Miriam Lexmann MEP

Reinhard Bütikofer MEP

Viola von Cramon-Taubadel MEP

Karin Karlsbro MEP

David Lega MEP

Anna Fotyga MEP

Engin Eroglu MEP

Michaela Šojdrová MEP

Riho Terras MEP


André Gattolin, Sénateur

Constance Le Grip Députée

Frédérique Dumas Députée

André Vallini, Sénateur

Olivier Cadic, Sénateur


Michael Brand MdB


Garnett Genuis MP

Kyle Seeback MP

Tom Kmiec MP

Senator Pierre J. Dalphond


Senator Pavel Fischer


Fabian Molina, National Councillor, Canton of Zurich

Lisa Mazzone, Councillor of States, Canton of Geneva

Nicolas Walder, National Councillor, Canton of Geneva

Balthasar Glättli, National Councillor, Canton of Zurich


Joar Forsell

Elisabet Lann

David Josefsson

Hampus Hagman

Niels Paarup-Petersen

Kerstin Lundgren

Fredrik Malm

Maria Nilsson

Tina Acketoft

Gulan Avci

Ann-Sofie Alm


Uffe Elbaek MP

The Netherlands

Sjoerd Sjoerdsma MP

Tom van der Lee MP


Guri Melby MP


Senator Barry Ward

Senator Malcolm Byrne

Senator Lisa Chambers

Senator Mary Seery Kearney

Senator Michael Mc Dowell

Michael McNamara TD

Senator Erin McGreehan

Senator Jerry Buttimer

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