The USA is holding a diplomatic boycott against the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, primarily protesting against China’s recent alleged human rights offenses. The games began February 4, 2022, and will last until February 20, 2022.
Claims have been made stating that China has been discriminatorily acting against Uyghur Muslims and other Muslim minorities. China denies this, but the USA is pressing. The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee have still sent athletes to Beijing for the games, but government officials are not attending as they usually would. It was also pondered by officials whether the games should be moved to another city because of the recent controversy, but needless to say, the location remains unchanged. Some believe that the USA shouldn’t partake in the games at all. According to the Council of Foreign Relations, “A coalition of nearly two hundred rights groups argues that participating in the Beijing Olympics would be turning a blind eye to these abuses.”
Evidently, the US has had other suspicions about the Chinese government, which also may have played a part in motivating this protest. Rights activists are concerned about the recent uprise in control that China appears to have over Hong Kong. Another prominent controversial topic is China’s apparent neglect of acknowledgment towards the International Olympic Committee’s prohibitions against political expression at the Olympic Games. Reportedly, two Chinese athletes proudly brandished pins supporting late communist leader Chairman Mao of China at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Bloomberg Opinion reports that “China’s state media initially celebrated the gesture — but after the IOC launched an investigation, censors edited out the pins from broadcasts and the Chinese Olympic Committee quickly promised that such displays wouldn’t happen again.” So it seems the USA has another valid reason to be concerned about the nature of the current Chinese government.
China has had a long history of successful athleticism, so this controversy may be what disturbs their triumph. They have earned 635 Olympic medals total, with 261 gold, 200 silver, and 174 bronze. The recent suspicions about them may lead to restrictions against their participation, or possibly other nations unwilling to be involved with them.
Despite the tension, let’s hope that everyone is able to enjoy this winter’s Olympics just as we would every year. Be sure to cheer for and support your favorite teams for their incredible efforts!