An analyst said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) considers the 2022 Beijing Olympics a significant event to focus on as it wants to take the opportunity to remind people of its leadership.
In an interview with AFP, Antoine Bondaz—a researcher at the French Foundation for Strategic Studies—explained that the CCP is expected to showcase the Winter Olympics to boast about its role in China.
According to Bondaz, Beijing wants to tell its people that China is one of the few countries that can host both the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics, highlighting China’s international standing.
However, after the United States, Japan, Britain, and other countries decided to boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics diplomatically, things worsened for the CCP.
Bondaz analyzed that, during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, many countries’ leaders, including U.S. President Bush, Brazilian President Lula, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, attended the opening ceremony. But 2022 is entirely different: relations between China and Western powers have seriously deteriorated, and criticisms from these countries towards the ruling communist forces in China have become increasingly acrimonious. So, diplomatically, Beijing faces a complex and challenging situation and must do everything to prevent losses.
During the past and present, the CCP has relentlessly suppressed human rights in Xinjiang, Tibet, and people of faith in the mainland. Moreover, it continuously violates the principle of “one state, two systems” to trample democracy and human rights in Hong Kong. At the same time, it increases activities to harass and pressure Taiwan by implementing aggressive diplomacy and is specifically believed to be the entity that caused the COVID-19 pandemic. These things cause the world community to have an increasingly unfriendly view of the CCP.
The recent story of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has led the world’s community to believe that the CCP cannot host a major sporting event like the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Late last year, Peng Shuai alleged on social media that she had been sexually assaulted by former CCP Politburo member and Chinese Premier Zhang Gaoli. These allegations were quickly deleted, Peng went missing for days, and Chinese social media were banned from reporting and commenting on Peng’s incident.
How the CCP handled Peng’s incident angered the sports world and the international community. Many think that they should boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Bondaz said he believes that the Chinese government understands that foreign public opinion and civil society must speak out about Peng’s incident. Still, they have no other bargaining chip to influence international opinion.