Analysis: What a US diplomatic boycott of the Olympics would mean

Each Olympics is a five-round rotation that encompasses politics, money, big business, nationalism, and great power diplomacy signaling the prestige of the leaders who fought to host the Games. surname. So report that the United States may voice a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, hinting at geopolitical jostling that limits ice skating, ice dancing and alpine skiing competitions.
The 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics heralded the emergence of China as a growing power. Next year’s Winter Olympics will be a platform to announce its emergence as a global power. But US President Joe Biden is under pressure from human rights campaigners and members of Congress to skip the Olympics and pull the entire official US diplomatic mission, as Beijing’s crackdown on Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week that the United States was also discussing what to do with its allies, hinting at an even broader front. Such a diplomatic boycott would deprive President Xi of some of the glory of hosting top world leaders at a glittering gathering as he amassed power at home.

A diplomatic boycott would also have the advantage of creating opinion without harming the athletes. A generation of competitors on both sides of the globe remember US sports’ total boycott of the Moscow Summer Olympics in 1980 and the eastern bloc’s tit-for-tat attack in Los Angeles in 1984. are tragedies.

In 2008, then-President George W. Bush was very painful before accepting the invitation of then-President Hu Jintao. Attend the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics amid calls for a boycott of China’s repression in Tibet and its support for Sudan amid atrocities in Darfur. At the time, the United States was still trying to balance its criticism of China with the hope of positively influencing its behavior.

This time around, relations are at their lowest point since the US and China established diplomatic ties in 1978. Olympics attendance did not appear between Biden and Xi in their marathon conversation. them on Monday, according to US officials – but that would be a real surprise if Biden ends up on his trans-Pacific trip.


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