A boycott of Beijing Olympics breaches human rights
Updated 16:51, 28-Oct-2021
First Voice

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As athletes gear up for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, so-called human rights activists are beating the drum to boycott the event, urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone or relocate the Games.

The anti-China pioneers are seizing every single chance to discredit China. This time, they have turned to the Olympic Games, packaging a Western political campaign against the communist country into human rights concerns. Straining every nerve to politicize the sports event, these human rights activists are blatantly breaching human rights themselves.

The practice of sports is a human right. "Beijing will do an excellent job, 100 days can't wait"  is how Kate Caithness, president of the World Curling Federation, reacted at the start of the 100-day countdown to the Games, as reported by Xinhua.

Her remarks epitomize the anticipation of athletes and sports officials in the majority of countries. "It is thrilling to know the next Games [in Beijing] are right around the corner," Yang Yang, a two-time gold medalist in short track speed skating, told the IOC. 

For many athletes, the Olympic Games are about their dreams to make their presence felt on the Olympic stage for which they have trained for years, hoping to sing their national anthems under their countries' flags. A boycott on the 2022 event is thus against the will of the athletes, meaning their hard work would not be compensated, and they would not even have a chance to compete, let alone win a medal.

Washington's boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics still resonates among American athletes. As a response to the Soviet Union's move into Afghanistan, then U.S. president Jimmy Carter urged a boycott on the event in Moscow. As a result, "The 1980 U.S. Olympic team is a team in name only. They never actually competed, their dreams sacrificed to geopolitical affairs that remain controversial four decades later," The Washington Post reported.

For hundreds of athletes, their Olympic dreams were dashed and careers were effectively ended – thanks to Washington's politics-oriented move.

Now, the U.S.-led Western bloc is thinking of repeating history. And ironically, they are doing so out of "human rights" concerns – at the cost of the players' right to practice sports.

Chinese skaters prepare for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in the National Speed Skating Oval, nicknamed the "Ice Ribbon," in Beijing, China, April 7, 2021. /CFP

Chinese skaters prepare for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in the National Speed Skating Oval, nicknamed the "Ice Ribbon," in Beijing, China, April 7, 2021. /CFP

The activists are attempting to manipulate the Games to vilify China. But it is a slap in the IOC's face. "The Olympic Games are the exclusive property of the IOC which owns all rights relating thereto," the Olympic Charter regulates. True, Beijing is the host city of the event. But it is more about setting up a stage for the sportspeople to communicate and compete. China only has the right to organize, not possess, the 2022 Games.

Therefore, the boycott is a blatant provocation against the IOC and the Olympic spirit, with athletes paying the price. By shouting human rights, the activists are brazenly stripping people's right to take part in the 2022 event and play sports.

These anti-Beijing pioneers argue that China's treatment of people in Tibet, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region means a boycott is a must. Again, they are repeating the same old lies.

The U.S.-led Western bloc has, on several occasions, expressed concerns about China's "maltreatment" of minorities. But interestingly, despite the overwhelming denunciations from politicians and media outlets, the West has never provided any concrete evidence. The so-called witnesses in some Western reports cannot even prove their identities. America's National Endowment for Democracy is behind the lies that are fabricated to smear China.

Against Western allegations, Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong have seen brisk growth under the Chinese central government. Adequate access to prosperity is how China protects human rights.

The anti-China activists tout human rights. But they have never cared about it.

For them, the slogan of human rights is just a tool for political gain. From a so-called color revolution in Hong Kong to a ban on Xinjiang cotton to sanctions on Chinese tech firms, the same tactic has been repeatedly used – and all end up with human rights being severely breached.

Now, the same people are turning to the Beijing Olympic Winter Games. A successful event in 2022, rather than a boycott, is what protects human rights instead.

By Liu Jianxi

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