Boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics scheduled from 4 to 13 February 2022, what human rights activists have already dubbed ‘Genocide Games’. Joe Biden’s temptation is strong, that of a sensational showdown to send an unequivocal message to the autocrat Xi Jinping: the United States will not stand by and watch in the face of the very serious ethnic persecutions taking place in China, starting from what The White House itself did not hesitate to define “the genocide of the Uyghurs”. According to United Nations data, over one million people belonging to this population and other Muslim minorities are held prisoner in forced labor camps in the Xinjiang region. But it is not the only case of human rights violations that the Asian giant is accused of, just think of the repression of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong and the age-old question of Tibet. An intolerable situation for the American president, who has made the fight against the repression of freedoms in the world a cornerstone of the new foreign policy of the White House, be it China, Russia or Saudi Arabia. State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed that the United States is considering common actions with allies, including the hypothesis of boycotting the Beijing 2022 Games, stressing that a “coordinated approach would not only be in our interest,” but also in the interest of our partners “.
A decision has not yet been made, he clarified. But his statements nevertheless infuriated the Chinese government, which returned to threaten a “strong response” against the countries that, behind the pressure of the United States, decided to snub the event, with the risk of political and economic reprisals. “The international community will not accept such a thing”, said the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry Zhao Lijia, underlining how “the politicization of sport is contrary to the Olympic spirit and damages the interests of athletes of all countries”. In fact, if Biden wants to go ahead in proposing forms of boycott of the Beijing Games, he will also have to deal with the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which has already rejected the hypothesis of a hard line: “It would be a decision that affects only the athletes. without actually solving any global problems, “admonished committee chairwoman Susanne Lyons. A brake on the boycott also seems to come from Berlin, where a spokeswoman for the German government confirmed the talks with the Americans and other allies, underlining, however, that “the principle of the autonomy of sport” applies in general. According to experts, there are two possible scenarios, with that of a sports and economic boycott (sponsors and TV rights) unlikely. On the other hand, the path of diplomatic boycott is more viable, with the refusal to send representatives of its government to Beijing, a solution that would probably see Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and some European countries on the side of the United States, but not the Asian allies. such as Japan, South Korea and India.