Filed Under: Politics

Diplomatic boycott: Biden delivers Beijing sting before Olympics

By

Congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have differing opinions on President Joe Biden’s decision to issue a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The Biden Administration said while it wholeheartedly supports Team USA, it will not be sending any representation.

“We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of what the U.S. views as egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang.”

Impacts of boycotts

Before the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Russia, then-President Jimmy Carter called for a total boycott of the games. 

“I have notified the Olympic Committee with Soviet invading forces in Afghanistan, neither the American people nor I will support sending an Olympic team to Moscow,” President Carter said during a speech.

Historians view that boycott as unsuccessful because it did not impact the war in Afghanistan and no U.S. athletes competed. In turn, Soviet athletes dominated those games.

For years later at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California, the Soviet Union retaliated.

What can a diplomatic boycott accomplish?

Here are three things the U.S. diplomatic boycott has accomplished so far:

1. The U.S. humiliated China on the world stage. China reacted when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People’s Republic of China spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. “No one cares if they come or not, and it has no influence on Beijing’s success in hosting the Winter Olympics.” 

2. At least three U.S. allies, the U.K., Australia, and Canada, have also announced diplomatic boycotts. “We will not be sending any diplomatic representation,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

3. U.S. athletes chosen to represent Team USA can still compete.

Lawmakers take on the diplomatic boycott 

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) headed the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Romney supports President Biden’s decision to not withhold Team USA athletes from participating. In an interview with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, Romney said it’s “Too great of a burden to put on the shoulders of these young people.”

He insists the boycott is about putting an international spotlight on China’s wrongdoing.

“I think it’s important for the world, particularly the people in our country, to understand better what’s going on in China,” Romney said. “And to know the outrage which is being perpetrated upon the Chinese citizens by the Chinese Communist Party.”

“We should just boycott the Olympics,” said Rep. Carlos Jimenez (R-FL). “The things that the Chinese are doing to their own people Uyghurs minorities is barbaric.”

“I don’t think it goes far enough,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said. I agree with it, but I don’t think we should oversell the impact of a diplomatic boycott. What China really wants is our athletes. They really want the TV coverage.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON: THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IS BOYCOTTING BEIJING 20-22.

*** DIPLOMATICALLY THAT IS *** FOLLOWED BY AUSTRALIA, UK, AND CANADA.

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: ”We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games. US diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of what the u-s views as egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang.”

JIMMIE: IT’S A CONTROVERSIAL DECISION THAT COMES AS CHINA PREPARES TO STEP INTO THE INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT.

SO, WHAT’S THE POINT OF A DIPLOMATIC BOYCOTT? LET GET THIS STRAIGHT.

A DIPLOMATIC BOYCOTT IS MUCH LESS SEVERE THAN A TOTAL BOYCOTT-  WHICH HAPPENED IN 19-80, AFTER THE SOVIETS INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN.

PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER REFUSED TO SEND THE U-S ATHLETES TO MOSCOW.

PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: “I have notified the Olympic Committee with Soviet invading forces in Afghanistan neither the American people nor I will support sending an Olympic team to Moscow. ”> 1:02

JIMMIE:HISTORIANS ARGUE THAT THE BOYCOTT BACKFIRED BECAUSE IT DIDN’T CHANGE THE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN AND AS A RESULT OF NO U.S. ATHLETES COMPETING, THE SOVIETS DOMINATED THOSE GAMES.

FOUR YEARS LATER, [1984] THE SOVIET UNION RETALIATED AT THE LOS ANGELES OLYMPICS.

IF A TOTAL BOYCOTT WASN’T SEEN AS A SUCCESS.

WHAT CAN A DIPLOMATIC BOYCOTT ACCOMPLISH?

SO FAR YOU CAN POINT TO THREE THINGS:

ONE — THE U-S HUMILIATED CHINA, THE HOST NATION, ON THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE.

HENCE, CHINA’S RESPONSE:

ZHAO LIJIAN: “No one cares if they come are not, and it has no influence on Beijing’s success in hosting the Winter Olympics.”

JIMMIE: TWO — IT PRESSURED SEVERAL AMERICAN ALLIES TO DO THE SAME.

Justin Trudeau: ”We will not be sending any diplomatic representation.

JIMMIE: THREE —  U.S. ATHLETES WHO SPEND COUNTLESS HOURS TRAINING FOR THIS RARE OPPORTUNITY ARE STILL ABLE TO COMPETE.

T.J. OSHIE: “It would just be an absolute honor to throw USA sweater on again.”

JIMMIE: REPUBLICAN SENATOR MITT ROMNEY HEADED THE TWO-THOUSAND-TWO WINTER OLYMPICS GAMES IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH AND SUPPORTS BIDEN’S DECISION.

ROMNEY SAYS ASKING ATHLETES NOT TO PARTICIPATE IS “TOO GREAT OF A BURDEN TO PUT ON THE SHOULDERS OF THESE YOUNG PEOPLE.”

HE SAYS THIS BOYCOTT IS ABOUT CALLING ATTENTION TO CHINA’S WRONGDOING.

SEN. MITT ROMNEY: “I think it’s important for the world, particularly the people in our country to understand better what’s going on China and to know the outrage which is being perpetrated upon the Chinese citizens by the Chinese Communist Party.”

JIMMIE: HOWEVER, SOME LAWMAKERS ARGUE THIS DOESN’T GO FAR ENOUGH.

Rep. Carlos Jimenez: ”We should just boycott the Olympics. The things that the Chinese are doing to their own people Uyghurs minorities is barbaric.”>

“I don’t think it goes far enough. I agree with it but I don’t think we should oversell the impact of a diplomatic boycott. What China really wants is our athletes, they really want the tv coverage.”

 

Congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have differing opinions on President Joe Biden’s decision to issue a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The Biden Administration said while it wholeheartedly supports Team USA, it will not be sending any representation.

“We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of what the U.S. views as egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang.”

Impacts of boycotts

Before the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Russia, then-President Jimmy Carter called for a total boycott of the games. 

“I have notified the Olympic Committee with Soviet invading forces in Afghanistan, neither the American people nor I will support sending an Olympic team to Moscow,” President Carter said during a speech.

Historians view that boycott as unsuccessful because it did not impact the war in Afghanistan and no U.S. athletes competed. In turn, Soviet athletes dominated those games.

For years later at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California, the Soviet Union retaliated.

What can a diplomatic boycott accomplish?

Here are three things the U.S. diplomatic boycott has accomplished so far:

1. The U.S. humiliated China on the world stage. China reacted when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People’s Republic of China spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. “No one cares if they come or not, and it has no influence on Beijing’s success in hosting the Winter Olympics.” 

2. At least three U.S. allies, the U.K., Australia, and Canada, have also announced diplomatic boycotts. “We will not be sending any diplomatic representation,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

3. U.S. athletes chosen to represent Team USA can still compete.

Lawmakers take on the diplomatic boycott 

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) headed the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Romney supports President Biden’s decision to not withhold Team USA athletes from participating. In an interview with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, Romney said it’s “Too great of a burden to put on the shoulders of these young people.”

He insists the boycott is about putting an international spotlight on China’s wrongdoing.

“I think it’s important for the world, particularly the people in our country, to understand better what’s going on in China,” Romney said. “And to know the outrage which is being perpetrated upon the Chinese citizens by the Chinese Communist Party.”

“We should just boycott the Olympics,” said Rep. Carlos Jimenez (R-FL). “The things that the Chinese are doing to their own people Uyghurs minorities is barbaric.”

“I don’t think it goes far enough,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said. I agree with it, but I don’t think we should oversell the impact of a diplomatic boycott. What China really wants is our athletes. They really want the TV coverage.”

Recent Reports


Get unbiased straight facts, context, and perspective!