The Polish president attends the Beijing Olympics in the middle of an American province

The Polish president attends the Beijing Olympics in the middle of an American province

Polish President Andrzej Duda arrives for a NATO summit at the alliance headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium, June 14, 2021. Kenzo Triboilard/Paul via Reuters

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WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish President Andrzej Duda will attend the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, a top aide confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday, as a number of Western countries called for a diplomatic boycott of the Games.

Australia, Britain, Canada and Japan have joined the US boycott in protest of China’s human rights record.

“Poland is a sovereign country and defines its own policy toward China … Poland is an ally of the United States, but Poland also has very friendly relations with China,” Duda’s foreign affairs adviser, Jacob Komoc, told Reuters.

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Officials told Reuters that with Poland’s relationship with the United States deteriorating under President Joe Biden, it is no longer in Poland’s interest to continue criticizing China just to please the Americans.

The Polish president’s relationship with China has been positive lately and surprisingly featured in the 17+1 summit with China as other Central European countries sent fewer officials. Duda said Poland plans to take advantage of its geographical location to enhance its role in trade between Europe and China.

Poland’s state news agency PAP first reported on Duda’s plan to attend the Beijing Olympics.

The Netherlands and Denmark have also pledged to join the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Read more

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China denies rights abuses and denounces the boycott as a betrayal of Olympic principles.

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(Reporting by Joanna Plosinska and Alan Sharlish) Editing by Jonathan Otis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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