As western nations boycott Beijing Olympics 2022, world awaits India to join the call


New Delhi: The governments around the world are finally standing up against China’s human rights violation by diplomatically boycotting the upcoming 2022 Beijing Olympics with Lithuania being the first of many countries to announce the said boycott.

On Friday, December 3, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda announced that neither he nor his ministers would attend the upcoming Winter Olympics. Just weeks after dialogues aimed at de-escalating tensions between the world’s two largest economies, the US declared on December 7 that its government representatives will boycott the Beijing Olympics in February due to China’s “human rights abuses”.

“While we must support and celebrate our athletes, America – and the world – cannot give our official imprimatur to these games or proceed as if there is nothing wrong with holding the Olympics in a country perpetrating genocide and mass human rights violations”, Pelosi argued.

The United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada later joined the boycott calls initiated by Lithuania and has since been joined by the United States.

Despite the fact that major countries around the world are condemning China’s crimes and boycotting the Olympics diplomatically, India is yet to join the bandwagon and hold the CCP responsible. China’s state-run media Global Times in an opinion piece stated that India’s support for Beijing Winter Olympic Games shows it is not a natural US ally.

Despite its close ties with the US, India does not mean that it inclines to the US overall regional and international affairs. New Delhi is simply not a “natural ally” of Washington, the Global Times claimed. What India offers as a goodwill gesture for the Chinese is interpreted by Beijing as a sign of weakness on New Delhi’s behalf, and China exploits the “gesture” to create rifts between India and its trusted allies like the US. 

Just a few weeks ago, Chinese state media was slamming New Delhi for being an American Lackey, and astroturfing it’s previous position, it is now praising India for retaining its diplomatic and strategic autonomy. 

India has even greater reason than the rest of the world to boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games. In 2020, 20 Indian troops died as a result of China’s unprovoked military aggression near the Indian border. It’s past time for India to realize that no amount of goodwill gestures will dissuade China from asserting hostile claims on Indian territories and sabotaging Indian interests.

MLA from Arunachal Pradesh Ninong Ering, who is also a mentor of China-focussing think tank Red Lantern Analytica as well as co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), has also urged India’s government to boycott the Beijing Olympics diplomatically.

Ering tweeted, “Indian Parliament should take up this matter and discuss it seriously, a diplomatic boycott of #Beijing2022 is the need of the hour to counter #CCPChina’s expansionist and repressive regime”.

As calls for a diplomatic boycott of the “Genocide Games” get louder, the global community is looking towards the Indian parliament to join global voices and boycott Beijing Olympics. However, any strong commotion over the issue in the Indian parliament is yet to take place.

Given the fact that the parliament session is scheduled to conclude after two weeks, Indian legislators need to act fast. At the global fora, the step to boycott Beijing Olympics will help to demonstrate India’s credentials and commitment as a responsible and sovereign democracy. The Indian parliament and the government must uphold the ideas of global solidarity and human rights in which India prides itself.

Unless other countries joined the boycott it would undermine the message that China’s human rights abuses are unacceptable, said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. “The only option really that is available to us is to try to get as many countries as we can to stand with us in this coalition,” Glaser told a US Congressional hearing. Speaking of other countries, India on November 26th 2021, joined Russia to extend support to China to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic games, despite the fact that relations between New Delhi and Beijing have hit a new low following a 19-month military standoff along the LAC. 

Olympics have always served as a major platform for expressing dissent for a long time. Who could forget athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who raised their back gloves during the medal awarding ceremony in the 1968 Mexico Olympics to showcase ‘Black Power’ and raise the issue of human rights abuses? The incident also finds a place in NCERT textbooks! However, it is for the first time that an umpteen number of human rights organisations, pro-democracy activists, and ethnic groups are opposing and calling for the boycott of an upcoming Olympics – 2022 Beijing Olympics. Now parliaments of several nation-states have joined the chorus to officially boycott these Olympics. 

After handing the world a deadly pandemic, China, an alleged serial violator of human rights, China is preparing to host the next Winter Olympics in Beijing beginning February 4, 2022. Beijing appears to be all for the spirit and vigour of sports on the one hand, while also holding a tennis star hostage on the other. It is pertinent to note that prominent tennis player Peng Shuai has been missing for over a month.

Not to mention the genocide of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, and persecution of ethnic minorities in occupied regions Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau, Manchuria, and Inner Mongolia, silencing dissident groups, amongst other gross human rights violations. 

This year, on International Olympic Day, Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Hong Kong activists rallied outside the White House against Beijing hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics. These protestors urged that the United States (US) should draw a line on China’s brazen slaughter of its ethnic minorities and withdraw from the games. The US was the first country to condemn China for genocide in Xinjiang earlier this year. In the month of November, the Hong Kong American Association of Hong Kongers in the US went to five cities to implore people to boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics in protest of China’s human rights violations and Hong Kong’s draconian National Security Law. Participating in the Beijing Olympics, as per a consortium of over 200 rights groups, would really be “an endorsement of the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian rule and would be interpreted as turning a blind eye to these misdeeds.”. The World Uyghur Congress has even dubbed the games as “Genocide Olympics”. 

Many human rights groups have argued that Beijing’s upcoming Winter Olympics are nothing more than a propaganda gimmick to cover up Communist Party’s transgressions. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has bestowed China the privilege of hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Nazi Germany was awarded the 1936 Summer Olympics. 

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