Polish president set to visit Beijing Olympics as US-China ties sour under Biden
Despite being a close ally of the US, Poland will not join the international diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in China, a senior Polish official told Reuters. On the contrary, the country's president will attend the games and use the opportunity to hold bilateral talks.
"Poland is a sovereign nation and decides its own politics towards China," Jakub Kumoch, the foreign affairs adviser to President Andrzej Duda, told the news agency. "Poland is an ally of the United States but Poland also has a very friendly relationship with China."
The report said Polish officials believed that it was "no longer in Poland's interests to continue criticizing China simply to please the Americans" due to a turn for the worse in US-Polish relations since President Joe Biden took office.
Kumoch earlier confirmed to Polish media that Duda will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping during his Olympic visit, stressing that the relations between the two leaders were very good. The opening ceremony is scheduled for February 4, and the Polish president will be attending, according to the official.
In early December, the US announced plans to partially boycott the Beijing games, citing allegations of human rights violations in China. While American athletes are free to compete, the American diplomatic delegation was severely limited. China, which denied the accusations, called on the US not to politicize the sporting event and reportedly intends to issue more diplomatic visas than the 18 requested by Washington.
Some US allies, including the UK, Canada, Australia and Japan, followed the country's lead in declaring their boycott of the games.