GT Voice: Beijing Winter Olympics has no room for political posturing
Published: Jan 26, 2022 08:27 PM
A woman practices traditional colored ribbon dance in front of a wall decorated with Olympics emblems in a community in Shijingshan district, Beijing on January 11, 2022. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A woman practices traditional colored ribbon dance in front of a wall decorated with Olympics emblems in a community in Shijingshan district, Beijing on January 11, 2022. Photo: Li Hao/GT

With less than 10 days to go before the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics, some US anti-China politicians have again engaged in "petty tricks" on the coverage of the Games, which only lays bare their warped attempt to undermine public perception of the event.

US Republican lawmakers sent a letter on Tuesday to NBCUniversal Chief Executive Jeff Shell and NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel, raising concerns about possible influence of "the Chinese Communist Party and the International Olympic Committee has in NBC's 2022 Winter Olympics programming," Reuters reported.

This is not the first time that NBCUniversal has faced political harassment over its Olympics coverage. While China has repeatedly denied baseless accusations concerning human rights violations, Western anti-China forces have been pressuring the media company to keep narrating the false story. 

If anything, NBCUniversal's case underscores the US' political posturing about the Winter Games that would create an unnecessary distraction for the athletes and the Games.

The past year saw some major Olympic sponsors face constant harassment by various anti-China forces. In December, after the White House announced it would not send any American official to the Winter Olympics, some lawmakers even went forward to demand US corporate sponsors of the Games do the same.

For companies that made huge investment to the International Olympic Committee on sponsorship deals, it is ridiculous to answer to such politically motivated demands by politicians and activists that usually hold an incomprehensible sense of moral superiority and disdain for people involved in legitimate commercial activities. Not to mention China's huge consumer market and strong economic resilience amid the pandemic, which they cannot afford to lose.

Moreover, the Winter Olympics is a headline international event and the best opportunity for various companies to promote their brand recognition. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, there were only a few international events which can match the scale and audience of the Winter Olympics. No businesses would pass up such an opportunity like this.

But there is no denying that the lies concocted by the US and its allies over fabricated human rights abuses in China have fooled some people, and adding pressure on Olympics sponsors, fearful of a backlash in the West, had to keep a low profile to avoid becoming targets of some activists.

Fundamentally speaking, Western anti-China politicians' attempt to put on pressure on corporations is part of their efforts to achieve their geopolitical goals, which is to prevent the world from forming a positive perception about China through the Winter Olympics.

The endless smearing and slandering surrounding the Beijing Winter Games has ranged from the so-called cyber threat, to fake snow, and meat suspected of including banned substances, or whatever topics that could hijack the global attention off the Games, in order to vilify China.

From an economic perspective, at a time when the global economy is in dire need of supply chain security for recovery, the world needs the Olympic Games as an incentive to fight the pandemic and boost our morale. 

Athletes who spend years preparing for the Games are supposed to be the center of the Olympic movement, and the Beijing Olympics is a showroom for the world's best athletes, while not for the US politicians. It is dumb and despicable for the US to engage in political posturing to disrupt the Games.