By NICK PERRY
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Australia’s prime minister says his country will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights concerns. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it should come as no surprise that Australian officials would boycott the event after the nation’s relationship with China had broken down in recent years. He says Australian athletes would still be able to compete. China responded furiously, saying no Australian officials had been invited to the Olympics and “no one would care about whether they come or not.” Morrison says China has also been very critical of Australia’s efforts to have a strong defense force in the region, particularly its decision to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.