Polish president attending Beijing Olympics despite US diplomatic boycott

Polish President Andrzej Duda will reportedly attend the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing despite the Biden administration’s diplomatic boycott against the games, which has been joined by several other Western countries.

“Poland is a sovereign nation and decides its own politics towards China … Poland is an ally of the United States but Poland also has a very friendly relationship with China,” Jakub Kumoch, the Polish president’s foreign affairs adviser, told Reuters on Tuesday

Officials told the wire service that it is no longer in Poland’s interest to continue pleasing the U.S. by criticizing China, noting that the Eastern European country’s relationship with the U.S. has worsened under President Biden’s administration. 

In December, the U.S. announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics due to the “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”

The diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics has been joined by nations including the United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada and Australia. However, the support has not been universal among the U.S.’s allies, with some countries opposing the use of sports competitions to highlight concerns over human rights.

Duda’s recent relationship with China has been positive, according to Reuters. The polish president made a surprise appearance at the 17+1 summit with China as other nearby nations sent lower-ranking officials. Duda also reportedly hinted at plans to use its geographical location to enhance its role in Europe’s trade with China, the wire service reported.