RESPECTED educationist and director of Centre for China Africa Studies at the University of Johannesburg David Monyae has condemned United States (US) president Joe Biden’s administration’s decision to boycott the winter Olympics in Beijing saying the decision must be rejected.
The Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games last December but did not bar its own athletes from participating.
“After the tragedy of having to cancel three editions of the Summer Olympic Games during the two world wars and two boycotts in the Cold War, it is now unacceptable that the situation is repeated with the announcement of the cancellation of diplomatic delegations to the next Winter Games in Beijing 2022,” Monyae, who is also a co-director of CIUJ, said.
The US boycott, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki was motivated by “the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses”.
The decision received worldwide condemnation, with China accusing the US of seeking to “politicise” sports.
At the same time, the Italian National Fair Play Committee (INFPC), in line with the National Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee, urged institutions and governments to respect the Olympic spirit and to steer clear of any political influences.
“At a time when maximum cohesion is needed to face the ethical transition of the community, through sports that promote integration and inclusion, it is unthinkable that we indulge in feelings and actions that go in the opposite direction.
“Therefore, the INFPC invites the Congress of the European Fair Play Movement to evaluate the situation and to express itself according to its role as guarantor of the principles of autonomy, which inspire sports and Olympism,” Monyae said.
Sun Yat Sen University Alumni, Dr Langton Makuwerere Dube opined that, “This is another classic example of a virulent strain of anti-Chinese charade, this charade deliberately constructs a problematic portrayal of China as another ‘other’. This manifests thru a multiplicity of invisible discursive frames within the international media space”.
“This is meant to depict China as rogue, cunning and chameleonic. From another perspective this broader anti-Chinese charade reveals how the world depicts centre periphery analogies resembling broader ideological and political contestations. This crass and unpleasant denigration of China resembles the age-old tendency by the West to view themselves as the centre of reason and progress which is detrimental to the Olympian spirit,” he added.