Could Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics be hit by boycott over Xinjiang Muslim camps?

Could Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics be hit by boycott over Xinjiang Muslim camps?

  • China has been accused of detaining more than a million Uygurs and other minorities in camps and faces increasing international outrage
  • US senators have already called for a boycott and growing tensions with other Western countries could prompt further support for the measure

Beijing is set to become the first city in the world to host both the Winter and Summer Olympics, but calls for a boycott over its treatment of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang are now growing.

If it happens, it would be the first Olympic boycott since the 1980s and the Cold War, but rising tensions between China and the West mean the idea is no longer inconceivable.

Despite the growing swell of criticism – most recently over the Hong Kong national security law – the Chinese capital is continuing its preparations for the 2022 Winter Games as normal.

On Monday, a countdown clock was unveiled in Beijing to start warming up the public mood and all host venues have been ordered to be ready for test events by the end of the year.

China’s official budget for the Games is US$3.1 billion, and it has spent a further 58 billion yuan (US$8.2 billion) on a 174km high-speed rail line linking Beijing, where the ice skating and hockey events will take place, and Zhangjiakou, which will host most of the skiing event