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Boycott 2022 Beijing Winter 'Genocide' Olympics

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

China’s worsening rights record in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong has disqualified Beijing from hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics, more than 180 rights groups and activists said in a letter sent to the International Olympic Committee this week.

Please join protesters worldwide to boycott 2022 Beijing Winter 'Genocide' Olympics!

CCP please answer the following UN letters sent to you:

Further references:

Apple Daily 16 February 2021 'Beijing backlash: the 2022 winter games could push the CCP further into the cold|Michael Cox'

Beijing contradicts itself in Winter Olympics row

Apple Daily 10 February 2021 by Kay Lam (format added)

Recently more than 180 human rights groups and parliamentarians in the UK and Canada have called on countries around the world to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing, citing the Chinese government’s genocide against Uighurs in Xinjiang.

On Sunday, the Global Times, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), published an editorial refuting the boycott, saying the action goes against the “Olympic spirit”.

The article also pointed out that after numerous countries led by the US boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics, in 1984 some other countries led by the Soviet Union boycotted the Los Angeles Olympics that year. The event was seriously affected and almost all feedbacks to it were negative, the editorial claimed.

Nonetheless, the Global Times has forgotten that in 1980, it was not only the US but also China that took the lead to boycott the Moscow Olympics.

On April 25, 1980, Hong Kong’s Ta Kung Pao ran an editorial entitled “Beijing decides to boycott the Moscow Olympics”. The article concluded: “The action to boycott the Olympics in the capital of the Soviet Union amounts to a great battle between justice and evil. It involves China, which has a population of one billion... It has greatly boosted the power of forces that are against Soviet aggression. This is not about sports events. Athletes should take into account world peace and justice, sacrifice themselves for the sake of the wider situation. Such is the right choice to make.”

Doesn’t this editorial published 41 years ago provide an answer to the issue raised by the Global Times?

What is even more hilarious is that the Olympic Committee of Hong Kong initially planned to follow the decision of the British Olympic Association and take part in Olympic events “on its own” rather than as a place representing a region or a country. That would involve flying Hong Kong’s own flag. However, pro-Beijing newspapers in Hong Kong then voiced opposition to the city’s athletes taking part in the 2022 Winter Olympics in whatever way, citing the idea of “great righteousness”.

Eventually all Hong Kong athletes quit the games. A pro-Beijing paper also ran an editorial saying that the idea that “for years sports has had nothing to do with politics” “has finally lost ground in the face of international reality”.

But then where did the “almost only negative feedbacks” to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics come from? Newspapers of the Soviet Union?

Note that in the 1984 event, China bagged many awards because of the Soviet Union’s boycott. Chinese gymnast Li Ning, aka “the Prince of Gymnastics”, for example, won three gold, two silver and one bronze medals. So, China was a beneficiary of Russia’s boycott that year, and now it said feedbacks to the 1984 Olympics were negative.

People have forgotten that China owed its brilliant results to the boycott action of its rival. Well, perhaps the negative feedbacks were about China’s ignominious victories.

Beijing’s convoluted narratives amid diplomatic plight

The flagrant self-contradiction reflects the diplomatic plight facing the CCP today. To justify itself, the CCP has to resort to convoluted narratives, which do nothing to help the party win support overseas. All it has is money and bullets. It has to bribe or intimidate others to get what it wants.

According to the Global Times, “if any country deceived by extreme forces takes real actions to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, Beijing will definitely retaliate fiercely. Without doubt, Beijing has no shortage of resources and means to retaliate.”

In the past few years, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and pro-CCP propagandists abroad have been using such narratives, which were also favored by the Soviet Union.

This indicates the CCP’s people have fallen into the “trap” of the Cold War even though Beijing keeps saying it does not want a Cold War and often accuses others of having a Cold War mindset.

No amount of aggressiveness in its narratives can help. Almost every press release issued by MOFA in recent years has contained some kind of protestation against a certain country. But has that helped improve China’s foreign relations?

Besides, how many sanction cards can China play today, given that numerous international sanctions have been imposed on it and many countries are antagonistic towards it? Athletes taking part in the Winter Olympics are mainly from Western democracies such as the US and European countries.

These countries have repeatedly voiced their views on China’s human rights issues, and Beijing has already threatened to retaliate. That is all it can do. It fails to make any compromises that both sides find acceptable. It is only a matter of time before the world is polarized again and faces a new Cold War.

After taking office, US President Joe Biden said the US will not lift the sanctions imposed by his predecessor off Iran just for the sake of returning to the negotiating table. Then a few days ago, it was said that the US, Japan, Australia, and India are planning to hold a head-of-state summit to promote a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.

On Washington’s agenda, topics about containing China indicate the US government’s tough line will not change in the near future. MOFA can harp on “the spirit of cooperation and win-win” or “non-conflict and non-confrontation” but that will not help anything.

What China has done over the past few months have not undermined international efforts to contain it but have actually prompted the new US administration to adopt a China policy similar to its predecessor.

Consequently, China will be “shooting itself in the foot”, as MOFA likes to say.

(Kay Lam, commentator)

Click here for Chinese version.

Rights Groups Call For Boycott of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Citing Worsening Abuses

RFA 5 February 2021

China’s worsening rights record in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong has disqualified Beijing from hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics, more than 180 rights groups and activists said in a letter sent to the International Olympic Committee this week.

Participation in the Games will only encourage China to commit further abuses, the joint letter signed by rights campaigners told the Lausanne, Switzerland-based IOC while calling on foreign athletes and governments to boycott the event, scheduled to be held in Beijing from Feb. 4 to 20, 2022.

“The IOC refused to listen in 2008, defending its decision with claims that they would prove to be a catalyst for improved human rights,” read the letter, referring to controversy surrounding Beijing’s hosting the 2008 Summer Games.

“As human rights experts predicted, this decision proved to be hugely misplaced; not only did China’s human rights record not improve but violations increased substantially without rebuke. Now, in 2021, we find ourselves back in the same position with the IOC who are refusing to act despite the clear evidence of genocide and widespread and worsening human rights failures,” it said.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Jan. 19 announced that China’s abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) met the definition of genocide -- a designation that Uyghur exile groups have advocated since the revelation in 2017 of mass internment camps that have held as many as 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.

In a protest held outside IOC offices in Lausanne on Feb. 3, members of the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe (TYAE) shouted slogans calling for freedom in Tibet, where Chinese authorities have jailed activists for cultural and religious freedoms, environmental protection, and language rights, and where over 150 Tibetans have burned themselves to death to oppose Chinese rule.

“The IOC knows full well the extent of China’s human rights abuses,” TYAE member Tashi Shitsetsang told RFA’s Tibetan Service during the protest, adding, “We have told them directly.”

“But they have actively chosen to ignore us and to turn a blind eye to the brutal occupation of Tibet, the crackdown in Hong Kong, and the genocide that is happening in East Turkestan,” he said, referring to the XUAR.

“The IOC has the blood of our people on its hands,” Shitsetsang said.

Also speaking toRFA, Tibetan activist Tenzin Netsang added that without strong IOC polices put in place to address Beijing’s abuses, “the Games will be [only] an effective endorsement of its failure to improve human rights since 2008, not an incentive for future improvements.”

Many broken promises

In a Feb. 3 statement, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that China had made “numerous promises” to protect human rights in its successful bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, also held in Beijing.

“Yet, during the 2008 Games, the authorities repeatedly violated the fundamental rights they had pledged to uphold, including by censoring the media and the internet, arbitrarily arresting journalists, and abusing workers’ rights,” HRW said.

Since that time, the Chinese authorities have only deepened their repression, the rights group said, adding, “President Xi Jinping’s government has crushed nascent civil society, targeted labor rights activists, imposed draconian policies in Xinjiang and Tibet, and trampled fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong.”

China imposed a draconian national security law on Hong Kong in mid-2020, effectively ending the autonomy the city was promised through 2047 under the “One Country, Two Systems” [Joint Declaration] arrangement that governed the former British colony’s handover to China.

Now the IOC has failed to conduct a human rights risk assessment ahead of the 2022 Winter Games, and has ignored detailed expressions of concern sent by HRW about the Chinese government’s rights record, the rights group said.

“The IOC knows the Chinese authorities are arbitrarily detaining Uyghurs and other Muslims, expanding state surveillance, and silencing numerous peaceful critics,” said HRW China director Sophie Richardson. “Its failure to publicly confront Beijing’s serious human rights violations makes a mockery of its own commitments and claims that the Olympics are a ‘force for good.’”

“The IOC can’t hold itself out as an exemplar on human rights when it only defends them where doing so is easy,” added Minky Worden—director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch.

“[And] despite the IOC’s expressed commitments to push for positive change, there is no visible evidence it has pressed Chinese authorities to meet any human rights obligations,” Worden said.

Reported and translated by Tashi Wangchuk for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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