The international community has failed regarding China and the 2022 Olympics. It’s a moral failing above all, but it’s also an administrative and symbolic failing.
Beijing’s worldwide abuses of human rights, international trade, military aggression toward neighbors and, of course, the unleashing of the Covid-19 pandemic has been allowed to fester, and gone unpunished. In return, China has been granted an international nod of approval by getting to host the 2022 International Olympic Games in Beijing, with the blessing of the International Olympic Committee and European and Western democracies.
Sure, there are the diplomatic boycotts that have been issued by several countries, including the United States. But this is an empty symbolic gesture meant more to placate and finger-wag Beijing than change its behavior. Senator Mitt Romney, when asked about a possible full United States athletic participation boycott, stated that he believes the US should compete because he “can’t wait for our National Anthem to be played in China loud and clear for the Chinese Communist Party to hear.”
Respectfully, Senator, they don’t care.
Since the start of the global pandemic, which originated in Wuhan, China, under circumstances the world still does not know the origins of because China has locked out any investigations, China has instituted a trade war with Australia, continued to build slave labor camps for ethnic Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, passed anti-speech and anti-democracy laws in Hong Kong, shuttered independent news organizations, jailed journalists and critics, threatened star female athletes, stepped into Afghanistan where the Biden administration has left a void, and signaled an aggressive military build-up and action against Taiwan. Just last week, news broke that China is keeping a list and database of international critics surrounding the Olympics. This includes diplomats, American officials, journalists and even social media users.
China has done all of this, in just under three years, largely to the yawns of the international community. They have been repaid in kind by corporate media companies such as NBC News, which will simply look the other way at what one producer called “alleged” human rights abuses. Meanwhile, Hollywood continues to sponsor productions in China. Companies continue to expand their customer bases into China.
If the world refuses to act on China’s abuses and aggressions, while standing by in awe at what’s sure to be a valiant effort to amass praise for their Olympic efforts, then potential viewers of these Olympics must register their protest by simply refusing to watch. Consider that there are now questions as to whether even the merchandise and 2022 apparel were fashioned with forced labor, and the IOC has proven reluctant to intervene or even answer activist and media requests.
That means that your nation’s athletes may be marching out wearing “Made in China” apparel. At the very least, that should be enough to tune out, and spread the word as well.