Sochi boycott shows West's arrogance

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-12-11 23:58:02

Women take part in a Kiss-in protest outside Russian Consulate as demonstrators kiss same-sex participants to protest anti-gay laws in Russia, in Vancouver on August 2. Photo: CFP

German President Joachim Gauck will not represent his country at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, his office said. This cancelation is understood to be in response to Russia's violations of human rights and persecution of opposition groups. Meanwhile, European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding said she would not attend the games. A number of Western artists and athletes, including pop superstar Lady Gaga, have also called for a boycott of the Sochi Games.

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin passed an anti-gay propaganda legislation that reportedly inspired public protests, which is believed to be the main reason for some Westerners boycotting the Sochi Games. Nonetheless, the deep-seated reason is that conservatives in the West dislike Russia from the bottom of their hearts.

The world boasts diversity, and each country may have aspects which others find unpleasant. Some countries proposed a boycott before China hosted the 2008 Olympic Games and now Russia is facing a boycott, but London hosted last year's games smoothly. This reflects the real political and cultural pattern in the world nowadays. Despite its economic decline, the West's overall impetus still lingers.

Putin's signing of the anti-gay propaganda legislation is a typical social issue. Now some countries forcibly try to make it a political issue, which may easily cause friction or even confrontation between countries. Western nations always have a sense of moral superiority when doing so, while in the eyes of non-Western countries, they are more like an arrogant mob brutally promoting their values and destroying the world's cultural diversity.

Politicizing social issues has become a means for Western countries to point their fingers at non-Western nations. When inequality still exists in the world community while some deem themselves as noble, the community is bound to have difficulty achieving harmony.

It is common that different countries have discrepancies. There are plenty of stages for these countries to compete with each other, but the Olympic Games offers a rare platform to promote friendliness and tolerance.

Many people believe the politicization of the Olympic Games in the 1980s that led to confrontation between the East and the West is the result of the Cold War legacy. The world's mainstream refuses for the games to be politicized.

The West still retains power, but as non-Western countries become more politically independent, their contempt for Western influence has been expanding. The original power pattern has already been broken.

Non-Western countries would like to follow the unique experience of the West in their economic and social development. The West's human rights concepts have been spread globally. However, the West should not turn this natural process into a forcible export of political values or it will only create tension among different countries and civilizations.

Posted in: Editorial

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