Power Play

Beijing Olympics 2022: The politics of boycotts

A US boycott of next year’s Winter Olympics might wound Beijing’s pride, but it won’t change China’s human rights policies. Power Play is a weekly column that looks at various facets of US-China rivalry and its implications for Asia.

International advocacy groups have called for an athlete boycott of the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing and have also lobbied governments not to send their athletes to compete.PHOTO: AFP

China had planned a grand torch relay for the 2008 Summer Olympics, a coming-out party where it could flex its diplomatic and economic muscles on a global stage.

But the relay, which spanned continents and even featured a climb up Mount Everest, was repeatedly disrupted in San Francisco, London and Paris by activists protesting against Beijing's crackdown in Tibet.

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