As we previously reported, the Biden administration will not send an official delegation to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Administration officials say this is a protest against human rights violations in China.
To understand what this means for US-China relations, Victor Cha joined me. He was the director of Asian affairs for the National Security Council staff during the George W. Bush administration. He now works at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and is a professor at Georgetown University.
Victor Cha, welcome to Hour of News. Thanks for taking the time.
At this stage in the already tense US-China relationship, what do you think of such a boycott, what do you think it can achieve?
Victor Cha, Center for Strategic and International Studies: Well, I think the achievement is to send a signal to China, as they have already done, that the United States will not allow China to remain irresponsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong. Kong or Xinjiang, or what they do with individual athletes.
I don’t think this will change China’s policy. I don’t think this is intended to change China’s policy. But what he will do is that the United States is leading, and perhaps other countries will follow. This is a political boycott, which means it will not affect athletes, and this is important because I believe athletes should be allowed to compete, unlike what happened in 1980 with the boycott of the Moscow Olympics by the Carter administration.
But it sends a very loud message that the United States was about to do something about the fact that China was kind of rampant to combat human rights abuses in its own territory and in other parts of its country.