What If China Gave an Olympics and Nobody Watched?

November 12, 2021 Updated: November 15, 2021


China is ratcheting up military threats, as it continues to engage in flagrant human rights crimes.

In the latest news, satellite photographs taken of Chinese desert military training facilities clearly show mock aircraft carriers, almost surely used to develop the means of sinking our most potent warships. At the same time, Chinese military jets have repeatedly violated Taiwanese airspace in provocations that could presage an invasion of the offshore democracy and U.S. ally.

And what is the response of President Joe Biden? Weakness, appeasement, and dithering.

Classic case in point: When John Kerry, the Biden administration’s special envoy for climate, was asked about China’s despotism, he sniffed, “We have differences on economic rules, on cyber. We have other differences on human rights, geostrategic interests. But those differences do not have to get in the way of something that is as critical as dealing with climate.”

In other words, the “climate crisis” is so important that we will swallow whatever China dishes out as the cost of gaining the country’s cooperation in reducing emissions. Not that Kerry’s sponge-spined kowtow to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accomplished anything. China threw coal dust in the face of the world at the big Glasgow Climate Change Conference, when its top leaders snubbed the opening which most other world leaders attended.

Other than continuing—so far—Trump administration tariffs, the Biden administration has been utterly flaccid in the face of Chinese provocations. Good grief, despite pressure from a bipartisan group of senators and international activists, and a “nonbinding” resolution by the EU Parliament for governments not to send official delegations to the Games, Biden won’t even smile at a boycott of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, even though the regime has made protests impossible by banning foreign visitors from attending.

A quick litany of the CCP’s ongoing offenses, in addition to that elucidated above, illustrates vividly why the country should, at minimum, be shunned as an Olympics host:

Uyghur Genocide: The CCP is engaging in a pogrom against the Uyghur Muslims in remote northwestern China. More than 1 million Uyghurs have been imprisoned in concentration camps, where they are treated with brutal disregard of their dignity as human beings, including forced sterilization, rape as a means of oppression, the removal of children from homes, suppression of religion, and being sent throughout the country as slave laborers. The State Department admits that these actions are a “genocide.”

Organ Harvesting From Falun Gong Practitioners: The CCP began suppressing Falun Gong practitioners in 1999. Since then, it has been well-established that Falun Gong political prisoners have had their organs live-harvested for sale in the country’s notorious organ transplant black market.

Social Credit System: Christians and others deemed insufficiently loyal to the government are socially excommunicated via the “social credit” system, in which technology such as facial recognition and computer algorithms “score” an individual’s compliance with government-dictated norms of behavior. The consequences of low social scores—caused by such “offenses” as simply attending church—include public shaming, job loss, inability to rent a good apartment, have medical needs attended, or even the use of public transportation.

Suppression of Hong Kong: When China took jurisdiction of Hong Kong from Britain, it promised that the territory would continue to enjoy a high degree of autonomy. Those promises are now so much tear gas smoke.

Cultural Genocide in Tibet: China not only illegally occupies Tibet, which it conquered and annexed in 1951, but is actively suppressing Tibetan Buddhism, a faith central to the Tibetan culture.

Intellectual Property Theft: China has engaged in mass theft of intellectual property all around the world, including employing old-fashioned spying at universities, hacking, and cyberattacks.

Commercial Control: The Chinese regime controls the country’s largest commercial firms and deploys these companies as fronts for spying and intelligence gathering.

COVID-19: Last, but certainly not least, the CCP is solely responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in millions of casualties, lives stunted by societal lockdowns, and trillions in economic losses.

I know, I know. It’s probably too late for any official hampering of the Games. The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies are on Feb. 4, less than three months away. Biden’s craven do-nothingism is a shameful abdication of American leadership.

But it isn’t too late for each of us to engage on the issue. We can all escape complicity in this travesty by participating in our own mass Olympics boycott, such as by refusing to watch any of the competition on television and refraining from purchasing any Olympic-related merchandise.

If we are really ambitious, we could even let the networks carrying the games know that we won’t be tuning in and alert their sponsors that their commercials won’t be seen because the program won’t be watched. Hopefully, at least some will withdraw their financing of the broadcasts and threaten the networks with losing their proverbial shirts.

I admit that, given the bloody policies of the CCP, that isn’t much. But it isn’t “nothing.” China’s rulers may be indifferent to the sanctity of life, the rule of law, human rights, and international norms, but they do care about “face.” A mass “tune out” will send a loud message that we have had enough of their communist despotism.

On the other hand, if we shrug our collective shoulders and gather around our big screen televisions to cheer on the downhill skiers, bobsledders, curlers, hockey players, ice skaters, and snowboarders—in other words, if we act as if China is just a normal country hosting a usual Olympic competition—we will demonstrate to the CCP that all we really care about is being entertained and, worse, that they will never pay any real cost for their monstrous behavior. If that isn’t decadence, I don’t know what is.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Award-winning author Wesley J. Smith is host of the Humanize Podcast (Humanize.today), chairman of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism and a consultant to the Patients Rights Council. His latest book is “Culture of Death: The Age of ‘Do Harm’ Medicine.”