Govt must boycott Beijing Olympics for 'appalling and brutal' Chinese behaviour

20 November 2021, 09:58 | Updated: 5 December 2021, 12:36

By Seán Hickey

Sir Iain Duncan-Smith tells LBC that government should 'make it clear' they will not attend the Winter Olympics to protest Chinese authoritarianism.

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"This is a brutal, despotic regime that arrests anybody who disagrees with it", Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP told Andrew Castle.

Reflecting on the continuing mystery around the wellbeing and whereabouts of superstar tennis player Peng Shuai, Andrew was reflecting on the ATP's reluctance to act to punish the Chinese government.

Read more: Missing tennis player Peng Shuai will make public appearance 'soon', says state media

The former Tory leader reminded Andrew of the CCP's track record, referencing the genocide being committed against the Uyghur minority of the Xinjiang region to stress the need for the West to act against China.

"Until the world wakes up to this and does something about it, then China gets away with it."

Mr Duncan-Smith noted that the British government's current position is to call for the boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, arguing that "it gives credence to a regime that is literally brutalising people."

"It's up to the athletes what they do...but it's not up to individual ministers and officials and the government should make it very clear they will not attend these Winter Olympic games because of the appalling and brutal behaviour of China."

Read more: Missing tennis player Peng Shuai will make public appearance 'soon', says state media

Andrew spoke to former Executive Chairman and President of the Association of Tennis Professionals Chris Kermode in the wake of controversy around Peng Shuai's whereabouts in early November.

Read more: Maajid Nawaz demands UK boycott Beijing Winter Olympics

"With a professional athlete missing in China, is it the right thing for all of us to do, to go and participate in the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing?"

"No it isn't" Mr Kermode insisted, branding the IOC's response to the news as "predictably poor."

Read more: Where is Peng Shuai? Williams 'devastated' after player vanishes following sexual assault allegation

Speaking more generally about how sporting bodies handle human rights abuses, Mr Kermode insisted that organisations "need to go much much further" to stamp out instances such as the Shuai saga.

Read more: Raab refuses to rule out Beijing Winter Olympics boycott over Uighur treatment

"At this point, our concern is for Peng Shuai" Mr Kermode said earlier in the conversation.

He stressed that the current issue "needs to be dealt with" and the Chinese government must be more transparent in the situation.