The Case for Boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in China
As the Washington Post recently reported, human rights activists and others are advocating a boycott of the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, because of the Chinese government’s many egregious atrocities, including its detention of hundreds of thousands of Uighurs in concentration camps, brutal repression in Hong Kong, and much else.
Calls for a boycott are justified. The present Chinese government isn’t just any dictatorship. It is one of the worst human rights abusers in the entire world. And there is no other way to prevent the Olympic Games from becoming a propaganda showcase for this regime. Chinese dissident and human rights lawyer Teng Biao recently called for a boycott for that very reason. We should listen to him.
For decades, people of goodwill have debated whether liberal democracies should boycott Olympic Games and other sports events held under the auspices of repressive governments. Apartheid South Africa was the target of a long-standing sports boycott that denied it the right to even participate in most international sports events, much less host them. Sixty-two nations, including the United States, boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan….
The standard argument against boycotts is the traditional idea that international sports events should be kept free of politics. The problem with this theory is that the Olympics and other similar events are virtually always used as propaganda tools by host governments, as happened with Nazi Germany in 1936, the USSR in 1980, and Vladimir Putin’s regime in 2014 [with the Winter Olympics held in Sochi]. For this reason, it is nearly impossible to make them genuinely politically neutral. The only realistic options are either to allow repressive regimes to use the Games to burnish their public image, keep them from hosting in the first place, or forestall their propaganda by means of a boycott that undercuts the G
Article from Latest – Reason.com