"Diplomatic boycott" of Beijing Winter Olympics: a farce that disgusts the world

2021-December-24 10:34 By: GMW.cn

    The National Speed Skating Oval ("Ice Ribbon") in Beijing (Photo by Liu Ping)

The countdown to the Beijing Winter Olympics is on, and the world is looking forward to the success of this sporting event. However, recently there have been noises against the Games. The United States was the first to concoct what it called a "diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics", announcing that it would not send an official delegation to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. This was followed by the UK, Canada and Australia. At the same time, the Lithuanian government, which has blatantly broken its political commitment to diplomatic relations between the two countries, which have since been downgraded to the rank of chargé d'affaires by the Chinese government, has also been making petty moves. The reasons behind this are self-explanatory.

But those Western politicians with ulterior motives are doomed to disappointment. Many countries’ Olympic Committees have made it clear that they refuse to boycott the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing and are firmly against the politicization of sport. Sebastian Coe, president of the World Athletics, opposed the so-called "diplomatic boycott" and recently told the BBC that a "diplomatic boycott" of the Beijing Winter Games would be "a meaningless and harmful gesture". IOC President Thomas Bach has even warned that politicization of the Games threatens the future of the Olympic Games. The "diplomatic boycott" has proved to be an unpopular and despicable move.

In fact, "diplomatic boycott" of the Beijing Winter Olympics is a farce that deceives itself and others. According to Olympic rules, officials from each country are invited to attend the Games by their own Olympic Committee, not by the International Olympic Committee or the host country's Olympic Organizing Committee. Therefore, whether a country's officials want to come to the Beijing Winter Olympics or not is a matter within their own country. More crucially, the "boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics" by politicians from the US and other Western countries is the greatest disdain for the Olympic Games and the greatest insult to the Olympic spirit, and their boycott puts them in direct opposition to the Olympic family, including their own country. China, as the host country, did not extend any invitation to them in the first place. In that case, what is the point of a "diplomatic boycott"?

The Beijing Winter Olympic Games are not a national sporting event, but a global one. The Olympic Movement itself is a link to promote mutual understanding between peoples through sport, a bridge for building friendship between people of different nationalities, cultures and beliefs, and an opportunity to promote world peace and development. The Olympic Charter clearly states that the Olympic Games is neither a political nor a religious movement, but a social and educational movement. Maintaining political neutrality, opposing the politicization of sport, transcending ideological and civilizational differences and allowing countries around the world to reach a consensus is what makes the Olympic Games so attractive. Therefore, in order to make the Olympic Games better serve the goal of "contributing to a peaceful and better world", the Olympic slogan adds "together" to "faster, higher, stronger". As Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee, said: "As China welcomes the best athletes from around the world, athletes from around the world will live under one roof in the Olympic Village, and the whole world will join in igniting the passion for winter sports. In the spirit of peace, solidarity and friendship, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing will be a momentous occasion that will unite the world." Contrary to this, the insistence of some Western politicians on making an issue out of the Beijing Winter Olympics only makes themselves clowns who undermine the new Olympic motto. Western politicians who are calling for a "boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics" should take the opportunity to review the history of the Olympic Games and understand its spirit, so as not to make a fool of themselves.

In the great gathering of the Olympic Games, sportsmen and women from around the world transcend the barriers of property, color, region, language and religion to participate in sport under strict rules, tightly organized and solemn ceremonies, enjoying the pure joy of sport while broadening their horizons and increasing their understanding of the unknown. The Olympic Movement provides a platform for sportsmen and women from all over the world to respect and learn from each other, to realize their fullest potential and to realize their life and social values under the guidance of the Olympic spirit of "Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together", while at the same time promoting peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of all mankind.

While the athletes have been working hard for four years, the politicians who are calling for a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics are turning a blind eye to this. They are disrupting the Winter Olympics for their own political gain, to the detriment of the best athletes in the world. In fact, these politicians were not invited to the Beijing Winter Olympics, and their boycott was a self-directed and self-styled hype, to which very few responded, showing that justice is in the hearts of the people. Not long ago, the 76th United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus the Olympic Truce resolution for the Beijing Winter Olympics, with 173 Member States sponsoring the resolution, a record number of countries sponsoring truce resolutions for the recent Winter Olympics. At the same time, national Olympic committees, athletes and media outlets have applied to register for the Beijing Winter Olympics.

In recent years, some Western politicians have been creating issues such as Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong to smear China and have been harping on the so-called "human rights" issues. I would advise these politicians to look at the human rights situation on their own doorstep - the widening gap between the rich and the poor, the increase in systematic racial discrimination, the record-high unemployment rate, the increasing number of people living in poverty, the rapid increase in the number of deaths in the COVID-19 pandemic, the misery of the underprivileged... ...what qualifies them to be "teachers" of human rights for other countries when their own human rights records are so dismal? The ideological prejudices in their minds are too deep, and their use of lies and rumors to interfere with the Beijing Winter Olympics is just a continuation of their habitual anti-Chinese behavior. Are those politicians who are calling for a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics under the banner of "human rights" not denying the athletes their "human rights"? Isn't it gross double standard and hypocrisy to talk about human rights in this way?

I have to say to some Western politicians, whether you have a "diplomatic boycott" or some other boycott, whether you come or not, it does not affect the overall situation in any way. A "simple, safe and exciting" Beijing Winter Olympics will be a success. To use the Olympic Games as an excuse is to stand against the tide of the times and will eventually be despised by world peace lovers, including your own people.

    Contributed by Qin Biaosheng, Associate Professor, School of Marxism, Beijing Sport University

    Translated by Wang Ruoxin

Editor: WXY
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