The Diplomatic Boycott of the Beijing Olympics

Emily Sullivan

This year the Olypmpics are facing diplomatic scretuninty by the US, Britain and Australia. This year’s winter Olympics are held in Beijing and the government is having to own up to their terrible human rights record.

The Olympics is an ancient ceremony dating back 3000 years to Ancient Greece. Over the years especially during the early 1900s the Olympics started to pick up popularity in foregin countries. At first it was only 14 nations and it was held in Athens, Greece in 1896. Since then the games have been held in high spirits, with the biggest and smallest countries joining in to be a part of this ancient ceremony. Every 4 years countries compete on why they think they should host the Olympics, the most recent being the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. 

Now the 2022 Olympics is up and coming and is said to be in Beijing China, but there is an issue and the government and committee is now faced with questions. Countries are now starting to boycott the Olympics by not sending athletes, teams, and diplomats to the sacred games. 

Human rights groups and Western governments are accusing China of a genocide in the Xinjiang region. China is trying its best to deny these claims by simply saying they are detention camps for Muslims. Relations between the Western were already strained between the Chinesse because of the tennis player Peng Shuai disappearing after her claims and complaints about being sexually assulted by a top government offical. 

All of these claims can be connected to the boycott of the Russian World Cup three years ago after the poisoning of Salisbury Novichok. European countries including Britain also announced a diplomatic boycott. With a similar issue being faced in Beijing, countries are forced with the difficult position of not sending diplomats. The reason for all of the action is if the countries are seen sending diplomats it will offer an approval for the recent horrific claims made against the Chinese government. 

Other countries though such as Italy and France refuse to join the boycott, the French president Macron commented on the boycott by saying its “symbolic and insignificant”. Unlike the US which got backlash from the Chinese government saying it was “political manipulation.” Campaigns across the globe and social media platforms have started the hashtag “NoBeijing2022.”