President Joe Biden Confirms US Diplomatic Boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China

SnowBrains | | OlympicsOlympics
olympics boycott china
A worker checks on a countdown board for the 2022 Winter Olympics in China. Credit: VCG

Last month we reported that United States President Joe Biden was considering a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. Yesterday it was confirmed.

“The athletes on Team USA have our full support. We will be behind them 100% as we cheer them on from home. But, we will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games in light of the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses. We have a fundamental commitment to promoting human rights. And we feel strongly in our position and we will continue to take actions to advance human rights in China and beyond. It cannot be business as usual.”

– White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki

A diplomatic boycott means that only athletes and backroom staff would travel to China. No US officials would attend the games.

China reacted angrily to the announcement, saying the US would “pay the price for its wrongdoing”, and promised retaliation and resolute countermeasures.

“The US attempt to interfere with the Beijing Winter Olympics out of ideological prejudice, based on lies and rumors, will only expose its sinister intentions. The Winter Olympics are not a stage for political shows and political manipulation. Their actions interfere in and undermine the Beijing Winter Olympics.”

– Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian

Human rights advocates have been urging countries to boycott the Winter Olympic Games to hold China accountable for its record on human rights. Australia are also considering a diplomatic boycott.

Several groups and individuals have called for a boycott of the Winter Olympics, citing human-rights abuses against minorities by the Chinese government. As the list of objectors continues to grow, the appeals for a boycott have become tough to ignore.

The leading stance for a boycott comes from a coalition representing Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kong residents, and other minority groups. The group suggests the idea of “diplomatic” boycotts that others have proposed is superficial. Instead, their directive outlines a full-blown boycott from competing nations, urging them not to attend the Games at all. Initially, representatives from different groups met with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to pitch moving the 2022 Winter Games from China. After the IOC decided that they would not move the Games, the call for a hard boycott began.

China has a recent history of human rights abuse. One of the recent notable cases is the relationship with Hong Kong. Many Hong Kong residents have advocated for democracy and separation from China. Their efforts have seen a crackdown on pro-democracy activists as China seeks to hold authoritarian control over Hong Kong. Officials have gone so far as to criminalize any insults against the Chinese national anthem.

China has also restricted the freedoms of religion and beliefs of its people. On February 1st, the Chinese government enacted regulations stating that religious groups must “follow the leadership of the Communist Party of China… persist in the direction of sinicization of religion, and practice core socialist values.” Most notably, China restricts religious practices in Tibet and oppresses the Uyghur Muslims living in the Xinjiang region. In addition, the Chinese government has reportedly detained over 1 million Uyghurs in reeducation camps for the “crime” of being Muslim.

Many high-profile politicians have joined the call to boycott the Beijing Winter Games. Former UK Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has spoken up, while the US Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, asked the US government not to attend the Games during a Congressional hearing. Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern called for a delay and relocation of the Games to 2023. Republican Chris Smith suggested corporate sponsors be held accountable for supporting the games at the same hearing.

As appeals for a boycott continue to grow, athletes are put in an increasingly difficult position. Athletes across most sports are beginning to use their platforms to speak about what they believe in more and more. However, the thought of abandoning a shot at competing in the Olympics is tough to swallow. Some activists argue the IOC has put them in this position by choosing not to relocate the Games, but this still puts tremendous pressure on the Olympic athletes. Either way, calling upon athletes to give up a once-in-a-lifetime dream is a hard ask. Mikaela Shiffrin was outspoken about the position athletes are in.

“You certainly don’t want to be put in the position of having to choose between human rights like morality versus being able to do your job, which on the other hand can bring light to some issues or can actually bring hope to the world at a very difficult time.”

-Mikaela Shiffrin

The International Olympic Committee has said policing host countries’ human rights records is outside its scope, adding that the Games should be “respected as politically neutral ground.”

The Beijing Winter Olympics begin on February 4th.

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14 thoughts on “President Joe Biden Confirms US Diplomatic Boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China

  1. Do rapists and murderers get to use this defense? “It’s just human nature. It’s always been like this.” How convenient. How is it that even here (in occupied territory aka USA) we have a national park service, fire departments, public education and some public health? My hunch is that you will never figure it out. You’ll continue to occupy the landscape without seeing any of the connections that uphold the only decent things around. But your mentality will eventually die off. Am I an academic btw or a Colombian who should find a job in Miami with his cousins? Hard to keep your bizarre rantings straight. But an interesting exercise in teasing out your delusions and projections nonetheless.

  2. Get whatever it is your preaching to work in your country and we’ll all come join you. Lead by example.

    The world has existed in a state of conflict, occupation, and war since the begging of man. The natural world exists in a state of chaos, competition and survival of the fittest. Darwinism applies to humans as well. Hence why the fairytale ideals of communism have eventually failed every single time. 170 years since the Communist Manifesto and a grand total of zero success stories. That’s what you call 100% failure rate. 🙁 sad…. Math doesn’t lie buddy.

    You appear to be an incredibly naïve academic obsessed with theoretical illusions. As the saying goes, “those that can’t do, teach.”

  3. Did you get your masters from Prager U? Dialectical materialism is precisely not utopian. It’s just an analytical frame for understanding how we arrived here, where the US coups or outright invades countries that try to protect their people and resources. As far as human nature, if the last 25 years of developments in psychology have taught us anything it’s that human beings require healthy attachment. Cooperation, compassion, curiosity, these are what make for a thriving individual and society. The fascistic justifications for oligarchy are fallacious and gross.

  4. Jose,

    Here’s an image of N. Korea vs. S. Korea and what 70 years of communism looks like. A picture is worth 1,000 words.

    Keep believing in your Marxist utopian dream. It doesn’t exist and will never exist because it goes against people’s natural self interest. You need motivated and incentivized people to create a successful society. Everyone being equal, happily holding hands together, goes against mother nature and every other natural cycle that exists in the universe.

    Marxism has failed every time, 100% of the time. It’s amazing people are stupid enough to try it again and again.

    There’s an old saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    Anyone who believes Marxism or Communism is the answer to their problems fits into this uneducated insane person category. You might want to take a look in the mirror and then go see a doctor.

  5. Haha look your instant ad hominem reversion may be both ill-mannered and hilariously off the mark but I will say this: Despite having translated my own inherited cultural and social capital into a dream life in the imperial core, I will still speak up when I see American exceptionalist and imperialist lies. It’s the least I can do! Good luck to you too though and I hope you figure out the basics

  6. It appears you are the bot. Brainwashed by Communist propaganda.

    Good luck to you my friend. Find a market based economic system, get yourself to work and give that a try. Try Miami on and see how it fits. It’s worked out amazing for all your cousins that moved there.

  7. It appears you live in Columbia. A country buried by political corruption and drug cartel influence. You have a failing economy, extreme poverty and extreme income inequality.

    Congratulations on finishing Universidad. I too fished college and have a masters degree. Both from American Universities.

    Go ahead and move to China or Cuba or Russia or somewhere else behind the Iron Curtain. Communism worked out great for all them. I’m sure it will work out great for you too. They clearly didn’t teach you much history in whatever under resourced school you attended.

  8. This is like conversing with a bot. I’m working class living on stolen land in ‘America’ but I’m educated. Wish I lived in a dictatorship of the proletariat!

  9. Jose,

    Where do you live? Do you work for China? You seem to be a paid advertisement for disinformation.

    Do you also live under a communist/socialist dictatorship?

  10. These can’t even be called logical fallacies, they’re just factually incorrect.

    Slave labor? Disappearing political enemies? How does this compare to just dropping bombs on entire communities? You do realize the US (in fact the US military specifically) is the world’s biggest polluter per capita, including plastic pollution within the last year right? Economic espionage? The US economy is literally founded on genocide, land theft and slavery. Corrupted and bribed other governments? Have you heard of American foreign policy?

  11. China still has slave labor.
    China kidnaps political enemies and they disappear forever.
    China is the world’s largest contributor to CO2 emissions and is ramping up coal production instead of curbing it.
    China prevents and silences free speech.
    China has prevented access from American companies to China’s markets. While America has provided mostly unfettered access for Chinese companies to America’s market.
    China has been conducting economic espionage on the west for decades.
    China has used and abused it’s emerging nation status for decades.

    China has corrupted and bribed many country’s governments and politicians for decades to turn a blind eye to everything listed above.

  12. The fact that China is the only nation to have used nuclear weapons on innocent civilians, uses its 900 military bases around the world to invade Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea; has 4.25% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s prison population; where 1% own 90% of the wealth and political power; the only industrial country not to provide universal healthcare to its people; a settler-colonial state that styles itself a champion of human rights, freedom and democracy; these facts alone should make for an all out human race boycott and rejection of everything it stands for.

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