Is it time to Boycott Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics?
Viewed from Australia, that’s a yes from us. The Chinese Government official’s twitter post with a fake graphic supposedly depicting an Australian soldier killing a baby in Afghanistan is just another piece of nasty propaganda from one viewpoint. The fact their response to our government’s requests to delete it has been to weigh in with even more absurd claims makes it worse.
But compared to the re-education camps for a million or more Uighur people in western China, or the repression in Hong Kong, Tibet, and the suppression of basic human rights in China itself etc, one act of twitter propaganda (when twitter is banned in China – it doesnt get more hypocritical than that) the latest tweet issue may not be so important. In fact, because of the on-going repression issues there have been calls for boycotts already that have received scant media attention.
Plus of course some cheapshot nasty propaganda is nothing compared to the COVID-19 death and economic destruction raging round the globe, after China’s botched cover up attempts let it spread too far, too fast before the rest of the World was aware of the scale of the problem. If the World had been told late last year and gone on full alert much mayhem and death would have been avoided.
But viewed from Australia, who would want to watch the Winter Olympics from a country that has such a disgusting government sanctioned attitudes towards us?
As Australian athletes, would you want to be there given that attitude?
Of course that’s a huge decision for them. As Aussie Freestlye Aerials Danielle Scott star told us, “The most spectacular venue I have competed at is the Beijing Bird’s Nest”, and a Winter Olympics is the focus and pinnacle of a lifetime’s efforts and sacrifice.
The same goes for viewers and athletes from anywhere else in the World feeling Chinese pressure. Those from islamic majority countries might consider the treatment of the Uighurs worth a boycott in itself.
A #BoycottBeijing2022 campaign might sharpen Chinese Communist Party official minds reminding them that while they excercise totalitarian authority within China, the rest of us don’t have to put up with it.
Boycotting Beijing 2022 and boycotting major sponsors across major markets would send a much stronger message than that individual governments, much less individual people, can send.
Now maybe they wouldn’t care, and could run the games with just China, Russia, North Korea and perhaps the Venezuelan Bobsled team instead of Jamaica. Or maybe they would. The official Beijing 2022 promotional site is full of smiling images of the Chinese Premier. He might not look so happy with a seriously compromised event.
Sporting bans may or may not achieve anything.
Stopping apartheid era cricket and rugby tours certainly did help end that regime in South Africa. Conversely the tit-for-tat Olympic boycotts for Moscow and LA didn’t do much except boost medal tallies for participating countries at both – without American athletes at the former and Eastern Bloc athletes at the latter.
Just putting the idea out there seriously would likely be enough to spark some interest – especially right now with COVID raging.
It would certainly be great to hear Aussie PM Scott Morrison raise the issue.
This poll is now closed – the result was pretty overwhelming, 82% in favor of boycott: