Less than three months are left before the opening of the XXIV Winter Olympics in Beijing – they will pass, you will not notice. Even the torch has already been lit in Greece.
But according to the stable custom of recent years, the audience is not occupied by the apolitical “Faster, higher, stronger”, as it used to be, but by very politicized games around future competitions in Beijing.
In the United States, there is talk of a boycott of the Games (we were really surprised!), Although so far only diplomatically. That is, about being ignored by American officials. “Let the helmsman Xi suit what he wants, American athletes, if they want, let them go, we (for now, in any case) can’t forbid them this, but for the American officialdom there will be no Games.” Not very polite, but polite is not in vogue in the USA for a long time (and even more so now). What is there to bow to the communists and – what is even worse – the bitterest economic competitors.
And the fact that the Chinese are very sensitive to violations of etiquette (there is even an expression “Chinese ceremonies”) and are not inclined to forget such things – they have a good memory, so ugh we are on their etiquette.
The reason for the contemplated diplomatic (so far diplomatic) boycott is universal and comprehensive: “violations of human rights.”
Not that with human ri-ghts in the Middle King-dom, everything was very well and orderly. In a one and a half billion power, moreover, historically re-cently experienced turmoil and “warring kingdoms”, f-ear of upheavals will alw-ays live in the memory of the nation. And if a dilemma arises – “human rights” (and understood in a very broad sense) or the absence of shocks, it is resolved in a predictable way.
By the way, with all the love of the United States for this topic (“Human rights are sacred to me, I am dumb before human rights”), it is not clear why the rights were remembered only now. According to the principle “Go hunting – feed the dogs.”
For in China, with human rights, things are more or less uniform all the time, it’s time to get used to it. Or develop an equally uniform response policy. And not as in the case of the idea of a diplomatic boycott, which bears the obvious stamp of the conjuncture.
Moreover, the Chinese civilization is twenty times more ancient than the American one. Several thousand years and two hundred years with a little – things are incomparable. And counting on the correction of Chinese morals by a hasty boycott is an attempt with obviously unsuitable means. You can offend the Chinese, but nothing more.
However, in the general context of the Olympic Games, it has long been a question of the Chinese.
Undoubtedly, the words of the Olympic Charter “The Games unite amateur athletes of all countries in fair and equal competition. No discrimination on racial, religious or political grounds is allowed in relation to countries and individuals” and were previously a good wish, periodically grossly violated.
At the VII and VIII Olympic Games ( Brussels 1920 and Paris 1924) German athletes were not allowed as representatives of the country that unleashed the world war. This was then repeated at the 1948 London Olympics – with the same explanation. If this is not discrimination for political reasons, then what? One can recall the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games and the Soviet Union’s refusal to participate in the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
However, the then prohibitions and boycotts were motivated by extraordinary historical events and were not considered as a precedent for any future Games. Whereas since 2008 (the only exception is the London Games of 2012) boycott and discrimination have become common practice. 2014 Sochi Games, 2016 and 2018 Brazilian and South Korean Games, now the 2022 Beijing Games. Instead of a worldwide sports festival (as originally intended), there is a worldwide showdown.
And under any pretext. “There would be a man (resp.: country), but there is a job.”
It is already possible to wager what kind of excuse will be invented to connive the wrong powers at the 2024 Games in Paris. Few doubt that it will be found. Doping, Crimea, Belarus, Bulk and all-sweeping pretext – human rights. Reports of the monstrous debauchery of state leaders are also suitable. In this sense, the message of tennis player Peng Shuai that once an important official forced her into a prodigal cohabitation appeared very opportunely and on time.
There is little confidence that this tradition will be interrupted by the enlightenment of the powers and the sports officials, who suddenly realized that the formula “Olympics = scandal” is destructive for everyone. There is, of course, another option. The international situation can escalate to such an extent that sports diplomacy becomes less entertaining. As it was, for example, in 1939 – “We have no time for crying now, we now have other things.”
So the eternal claims about human rights are better. At least they don’t shoot in front of them.