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Wishing Beijing Olympic 2022 a grand success

Olympic, Beijing, China, Winter Olympic, Beijing Olympic

Leisure

Wishing Beijing Olympic 2022 a grand success

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China is set to successfully host the 2022 Beijing Olympic. Social media are flooded with video clips from athletes stating they are happy, comfortable, and being well looked after and enjoying China’s newest technology with great beds, robotically prepared meals and amazing facilities in a healthy environment, separated from the anxieties of COVID-19.

But unfortunately, some nations are making frantic bids with the call for boycotting Beijing Olympic, without showing any valid reason behind such campaign. In my opinion, those nations are trying to wrongly demonize China with ulterior political agenda.

It may be mentioned here that, there have been political boycotts of the Olympics in the past. Related to apartheid, cold war, human rights or politics but the one most remembered was led, as it is this time, by the US government, which sent no athletes and no officials to attend the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. The irony of that decision was their reason – the invasion of Afghanistan, something the US troops themselves did some 20 years later and remained in that country for the following 20 years. Four years after 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, citing security concerns, the USSR led a boycott of the Los Angeles Games.

The strangest aspect of this 2022 Winter Olympic “boycott” seems to be that the reasoning this time is based on unproven and ridiculous allegations and a complete disregard of all the evidence to the contrary, as well as a lack of desire to establish the veracity of any, or all of the claims being made.

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Even more disturbing is the fact that after announcing the “diplomatic boycott”, the US applied for and were granted 46 visas so they could send “officials”, most of whom apparently work for the Department of State – meaning they are, for all intents and purposes, diplomats.

Commenting on the call to boycott Beijing Olympic, Jerry Grey wrote in a column:

The US asked others to boycott but the response was, at best lukewarm. Canada, Australia and the UK, of course, all Five Eye intelligence cooperation nations agreed, New Zealand are reported to have agreed but sent a letter to the Chinese organizers as early as October, two months before any boycott was announced, stating they would not be sending officials due to COVID-19 concerns.

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The city of Beijing is unique – geography means it has a very warm summer and a very cold winter. As a result, its the only city in the world to host both a Summer and a Winter Olympic Games. In 2008, a huge 588-person team from the US attended and George W. Bush personally came to China. By all accounts he enjoyed his time, he cycled with athletes and played volleyball on the beach. There were no calls for boycotts, no allegations of human rights abuse and no indications that there was anything other than a strong relationship between the world’s leading superpower and the upcoming one.

What brought the change about has been a steady decline in the way the US manages its international affairs.

Shortly after George W. Bush came to China in 2008, Barack Obama was elected and decided to ease back on his country’s Middle East policies and “pivot to Asia”. Considered by many to be an abject failure, it created tensions, military escalations and these brought about a decline in relations between the obviously growing China and the seemingly declining US. Opportunistically, Donald Trump saw, in China, a wonderful opening, a chance to deflect the blame for many of America’s problems.

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Joe Biden is now between a rock and a hard place. If he’s seen to be conciliatory toward China, he knows he can’t get his party supported in the upcoming mid-term elections; if he hardens his line on China, his country would suffer more economic losses. But to China, and in relation to the Winter Olympics, this isn’t important.

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Chinese people don’t feel pressured by the US. Most people seem bemused by the fact the US wants to diplomatically boycott and tried to send 46 officials. The US talk of broad support but only a handful of allied countries support its stance – none of that is important to the people of China. When it comes to the topic of the US, they simply don’t care.

Chinese people are known for their tradition of hospitality and friendship. They always value friends and especially old friends. In my opinion, if the US wants to participate in the Beijing Olympic, people of China shall warmly welcome them. If they don’t, Beijing Olympic will be held with due festivity being participated by majority of the countries in the world.

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Sohail Choudhury is the Executive Editor of Blitz

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