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Netherlands will not send diplomatic group to Beijing Olympics

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A baking creation of the Olympic rings is on display during breakfast for guests of a hotel ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. (Reu...

A baking creation of the Olympic rings is on display during breakfast for guests of a hotel ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. (Reu...

THE HAGUE, (Reuters) — The Netherlands will not send an official diplomatic delegation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics because of COVID-19 restrictions, a foreign ministry spokesperson said Friday (Jan. 14).

"Because of the COVID-19 measures in place in China there would only be limited opportunities for (...) bilateral contacts with the host country where the Netherlands' great concern about the human rights situation could be discussed in a meaningful way," Frits Kemperman said.

The Dutch decision comes amid a U.S.-led diplomatic boycott to protest against China's human rights record, joined by Australia, Britain, Canada, and Japan. China denies rights abuses and has condemned the boycott as betraying Olympic principles.