The Hypocrisy of the ‘Diplomatic Boycott’ of the 2022 Beijing Olympics

The Hypocrisy of the ‘Diplomatic Boycott’ of the 2022 Beijing Olympics

Which human rights matter enough to put politics above sports? For decades, the United States and its European allies have gotten to decide the answer at their convenience.

February 03, 2022 by Charles Xu

People’s Dispatch

“On February 4, the 2022 Winter Olympics are set to open in Beijing. With this, the Chinese capital will become the first city to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Games. It will also make the People’s Republic of China the first country in the Global South ever to host the Winter Olympics, which have historically been dominated by Europe and North America (home to the top 14 countries in the all-time medal table). China remains the only Asian host nation in history besides Japan and South Korea.

These milestones have gone almost entirely unremarked-upon in Western media coverage leading up to the Games, which instead paints China as a uniquely “authoritarian” and therefore undeserving host. The United States led the way in announcing a “diplomatic boycott” of the Beijing Olympics on December 6, 2021, citing allegations of “genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.” It was followed by Britain, Canada, and Australia (i.e., all but one of its “Five Eyes” allies), as well as Japan and a smattering of small north European countries.

The Five Eyes, which constitute a majority of “boycott” hangers-on, are united not just by the English language but by a common history of settler colonialism, Indigenous genocide, and violently enforced regional and global hegemony. And Japan remains largely unrepentant for its brutal invasion and colonial rule over much of East and Southeast Asia in the first half of the 20th century, which killed around 20 million people in China alone. The authors of this dismal spectacle are therefore in no moral position to levy such charges against China—charges which themselves have been repeatedly and thoroughly exposed as a mixture of gross exaggerations and outright falsifications, not least by hundreds of Uyghurs’ testimonials from within Xinjiang….”

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