The United States wants to boycott China by not sending government officials during the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. US President Joe Biden will announce that week, according to CNN sources.
The United States is deeply concerned about the human rights situation in China. A diplomatic boycott would be a good way to send a clear message to China, according to the US government, without hurting American athletes. Thus athletes can compete for medals in China, while government officials remain at home.
This isn’t the first time the United States has used the Olympics as a way to boycott another country. During the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, the United States did not send any athletes to what was then the Soviet Union.
The purpose of the boycott at the time was to ensure that the Russians would recall their forces in Afghanistan. When this was not paid attention to, then-President Jimmy Carter decided not to send athletes to the Olympics. Besides the United States, there were 55 other countries that did not participate in the Games, some in favor of a boycott, some for other (economic) reasons. Holland did participate, but skipped the opening ceremony.
‘It is not right’
So boycotting 1980 was much more difficult than the one coming now. According to sports journalist and Helden Magazine editor-in-chief, “It’s a good idea to let athletes exercise.” Because they didn’t choose him. “But it’s not at all true that we assign these kinds of major leagues to these kinds of systems,” Barend says in Good Morning Netherlands on NPO 1. And now also with games.”
As former Secretary of State, Uri Rosenthal acknowledges the issue Biden now faces. “When I was a minister, it was about football in Eastern Europe (European Commission in Ukraine and Poland, ed.). Ukraine then had the problem of a president whose rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, was in prison. From the Cabinet, we had discussions about whether he should Us to go or not.” Rosenthal explains that there were many policy questions on the table. “Then you get to measuring and measuring.”
“They promise to get better, but that never happens.”
It is not known to what extent he also fits or measures Biden. But Rosenthal says the decision not to send government officials is “very far-reaching”. “In the end I wonder why I let the athletes go to the greater glory of the country.”
According to Barend, these types of countries organize a major sporting event to “show how good it is.” “And then they promise to get better, but that never happens.” Rosenthal agrees. “It’s an illusion to think that by regulating something big, China will take care of human rights a little better.”
Read also: America is interfering in the Russian conflict with Ukraine, but where is Europe?
By: Vic Ten Wolde
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