Minister says France won't join diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

France said Thursday it will not join other Western countries that have announced diplomatic boycotts of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Reuters reported

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer was asked about a potential boycott following announcements from the United States, Canada, Australia and Great Britain that they will not be sending officials to the games in protest of China’s human rights record. 

"As for a diplomatic boycott ... France will not do it," Blanquer told a French media outlet on Thursday. "Sports is a world in itself, which must be protected from political interference."

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Blanquer said Sports Minister Roxana Mărăcineanu would attend the Winter Olympics, adding that he condemns the violations of human rights China has committed, according to Reuters. 

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian offered more careful comments on the matter, saying the European Union should come to a common position. 

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul Qatar emir to meet with Biden at White House next week White House underscores action amid violent crime streak MORE said on Thursday that other countries have to make their “own decision” on whether to implement a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics. 

“There are others who have followed that same pattern and have taken that step as well. We leave it to other countries to make their own decision,” Psaki said at the media briefing. “I'm not going to express support, disappointment, or anything like that from here. They will make their own decision.” 

Paris is set to host the Summer Olympics in 2024, Reuters noted.