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World Why boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics could backfire

05:25  20 september  2021
05:25  20 september  2021 Source:   cnn.com

'Genocide Games': 200 Human Rights Groups Urge Boycott of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

  'Genocide Games': 200 Human Rights Groups Urge Boycott of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Elected officials in the United States and elsewhere have discussed the possibility of a "diplomatic boycott," but campaigners say the plan is not enough.In an open letter sent to broadcasting executives on Tuesday, campaigners warned companies were "at serious risk of being complicit in China's plan to 'sport wash' the severe and worsening human rights abuses and embolden the actions of the Chinese authorities.

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics now over, attention is turning to next year's Winter Olympics in the Chinese capital Beijing .

The Russian foreign ministry has rubbished calls by Nancy Pelosi and numerous figures around the world for a boycott of next year's China Winter Olympics on human rights grounds. US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called for a US diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing , criticizing China for human rights abuses and saying global leaders who attend would lose their moral authority: Reuters (File photo) pic.twitter.com/B0XCDkE0nE.

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics now over, attention is turning to next year's Winter Olympics in the Chinese capital Beijing.

a group of people holding a sign © Provided by CNN

And with less than six months to go, pressure is mounting on the United States and other democracies to boycott the Games, given the strong evidence of genocide occurring in Xinjiang against the Uyghur population and other serious human rights violations in restive regions such as Tibet.

China has repeatedly denied human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Tibet and has called allegations of genocide "preposterous."

However, a letter signed by more than 180 campaign groups warn that the Games will only embolden China's ruling Communist Party. A group of Republican senators believe the event should be moved to another country. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argues that foreign leaders attending will lose their moral standing.

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Attempts to humiliate Beijing will only backfire and expose America’s loneliness and inability to sway its allies. A worker stands at the base of the under-construction ski jumping venue for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in Zhangjiakou, 200km northwest of Beijing , on March 17. Photo: AFP.

Ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing and neighbouring cities, China is working overtime to make sure the event is a success. Beijing has budgeted .9bn for repurposing and building new venues and spent an additional .3bn on a high speed rail connecting Beijing with The threat of boycott comes as relations between China and some of the main players in the Winter Olympics are at their worst point in decades. China has held two Canadians in detention for almost two years in what many believe to be retaliation for Ottawa’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer, Meng

The anger against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is understandable, as are calls to boycott the Games.

China will use the Winter Olympics to boost its prestige and standing on the global stage by holding an impeccably organized international event and seek to enhance the legitimacy of its authoritarian values. There is a moral duty to counter the CCP's attempts to cover-up or else downplay the importance of human rights by an aspiring Chinese superpower.

But it is not just about fighting the good fight, but a smart one as well. The key is to maintain, rather than release the pressure on the regime. A full boycott involving the non-attendance of dignitaries, officials, athletes, and even corporate sponsors might seem like the only moral option, but it could prove to be counterproductive. Fortunately, there is a better alternative.

Chinese students hit by US visa rejections amid tension

  Chinese students hit by US visa rejections amid tension After a semester online, Wang Ziwei looked forward to meeting classmates who are returning to campus at Washington University in St. Louis. But the 23-year-old finance student said the U.S. revoked his student visa on security grounds. Wang is among at least 500 students the Chinese government says have been rejected under a policy issued by then-President Donald Trump to block Beijing from obtaining U.S. technology with possible military uses. Students argue it is applied too broadly and fume at what they say is an accusation they are spies. © Provided by Associated Press A Chinese paramilitary policeman stands guard outside the U.S.

Do Olympic boycotts work? Many say that attending the Beijing Games will be a “stain on our collective conscience,” as John Jones, campaigns and advocacy manager at U.K.-based NGO Free Tibet, puts it. Jules Boykoff, a professor at Pacific University in Oregon, who studies the Olympics and That Beijing will become the first city anywhere to host both a Summer and Winter Olympics is a huge propaganda boost for China’s strongman, President Xi Jinping. But controversy is attached to both events. While the 2008 Beijing Games are generally remembered as a coming out moment for a

Guo Weimin, a spokesman for the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top political advisory body, added that such calls aim to “sabotage the preparation” of the sports event. The winter games are set to begin on February 4, 2022, and at least 180 organisations have called on governments to boycott the event due to China’s alleged human rights abuses against ethnic minority groups.

For democracies, the Olympics gives the world a greater and more accurate insight into the country and its people. This remains true of the Tokyo 2020 Games despite the necessary Covid-19 restrictions. For autocrats, it is a high stakes opportunity to manipulate and control the way outsiders see their country, society, and institutions. Think of Berlin in 1936 or Moscow in 1980. In more recent times, Chinese authorities harassed and intimidated journalists in the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Summer Games to ensure favorable or else uncontroversial press coverage.

With that in mind, why not a full boycott in 2022? After all, it would cause immediate embarrassment for Beijing. One problem is that a US-led full boycott is unlikely to attract a large contingent of countries to follow suit as China would use its economic leverage to coerce smaller countries from doing the same.

Chinese students hit by US visa rejections amid tension

  Chinese students hit by US visa rejections amid tension After a semester online, Wang Ziwei looked forward to meeting classmates who are returning to campus at Washington University in St. Louis. But the 23-year-old finance student said the U.S. revoked his student visa on security grounds. Wang is among at least 500 students the Chinese government says have been rejected under a policy issued by then-President Donald Trump to block Beijing from obtaining U.S. technology with possible military uses. Students argue it is applied too broadly and fume at what they say is an accusation they are spies. © Provided by Associated Press A Chinese paramilitary policeman stands guard outside the U.S.

Diplomats in Beijing discuss how to approach 2022 Winter Games. China dismisses boycott , confident Games will be a success. Skiers on the course at the National Alpine Ski Center, a site for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics , earlier in February. Photographer: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images. While most doubted there would be an outright boycott , they noted that a lot can change before the opening ceremony 10 months from now. The diplomats, who asked not to be named, also raised the possibility that top dignitaries would stay away from Beijing even while athletes compete and sponsors take part.

Why it matters: An Olympics boycott by the U.S. and its allies could help persuade international legal institutions to open an investigation related to allegations of genocide in Xinjiang, human rights lawyer Djaouida Siaci tells Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian. Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Between the lines: Secretary of State Tony Blinken warned Beijing last month that the U.S. is willing to "push back ": “China uses coercion and aggression to systematically erode autonomy in Hong Kong, undercut democracy in Taiwan, abuse human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and assert

With the US and perhaps a small band of democracies making that stand, China will inevitably frame the boycotters as a small group of disgruntled outliers. Even worse if the US is by itself. After the initial embarrassment, and as the world's attention turns to the sporting contest, China will position itself as the emerging leader of the non-US aligned group of nations. Beijing is sure to emphasize that most of the latter are developing economies with little in common with the developed liberal democracies nations of the West.

The better approach would be the US and others only refusing to send leaders and senior political officials to attend and persuading other countries to do the same. This is to deny Beijing the opportunity to exploit the image it wants of graciously hosting world leaders at the same time it is systematically abusing its own citizens. Sen. Mitt Romney has even suggested that the White House can invite Chinese dissidents, religious leaders and ethnic minorities to represent the US at the event.

That cannot be all. At the same time, participation by US athletes and the accompanying media contingent should be encouraged and supported to use the grand stage of the Winter Olympics to give the world a better insight into the workings of authoritarian institutions in China and shine a light on the terrible reality of the human right abuses taking place in the country.

Woman sues for right to freeze her eggs in Beijing

  Woman sues for right to freeze her eggs in Beijing BEIJING (AP) — After almost two years, an unmarried woman suing for the right to freeze her eggs in Beijing is getting her case heard in court Friday in a rare legal challenge against the country's restrictions on unmarried women in reproductive health. Teresa Xu has been waiting since December 2019 for her second hearing at the Chaoyang People’s Court in Beijing. She is suing Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital at Capital Medical University, a public hospital that forbid her from freezing her eggs, citing national law. Xu's victory could mark an important step for unmarried women in China who want to access public benefits. Unlike in the U.S.

For example, in the lead-up and during the Games, foreign media should receive diplomatic support to break out of what will be stifling restrictions on where they can go, what they can report on, and who they can talk to. When Chinese authorities inevitably clamp down on their activities, the restrictions ought to become the story alongside reporting on the performances of athletes.

In the months before the Games, the US and others should launch a concerted and public campaign to compel the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to protect the rights of athletes and other participants to voice their views in support for human rights, even if the IOC is unable to respect the provisions of its own Olympic Charter. Individuals should not be punished if they choose to do so. Bear in mind that the Charter promotes so-called principles of Olympism which includes universal fundamental ethical principles and prohibits discrimination of any kind, including on the basis of race or religion.

If the IOC punishes those voicing their support for human rights, the body is exposed as craven and hypocritical. Regardless, the airing of these views on Chinese soil will help expose Beijing's Potemkin facade that the rights of its minorities are respected. And if Beijing reacts angrily to such gestures, then its incapacity for tolerance will be similarly exposed.

Denying Beijing the propaganda victory it craves is difficult but important work given the nature and scale of its human rights violations. Entering the contest, rather than removing oneself from it, is a good place to begin.

Business group: China's tech self-reliance plans hurt growth .
BEIJING (AP) — The ruling Communist Party’s campaign to tighten control over China’s industries and use less foreign technology is slashing economic growth, a foreign business group warned Thursday. The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China appealed to Beijing to reverse course and open state-dominated markets wider. Its report adds to warnings about the costs of Beijing’s strategy at a time when economic growth is in long-term decline and the workforce is aging and shrinking. The party’s plans are straining relations with Washington and other governments that complain they violate its trade commitments.

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