We are standing up to China by sending $1 billion for broadcast rights to the Beijing Olympics?

“U.S. Will Not Send Government Officials to Beijing Olympics” (New York Times, today):

American athletes will still be able to compete in the Winter Games, but the diplomatic boycott is a slap at China for human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Pressure has been building for months from members of Congress in both parties to hold China accountable for abuses of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region and crackdowns on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Those calls only intensified after the disappearance from public life of the tennis star Peng Shuai after she accused a top Communist Party leader of sexual assault.

On the latter point, previously in the NYT: “She said she met Zhang earlier in her career and had a consensual relationship with him. She said he sexually assaulted her shortly after he stepped down as one of China’s top leaders in 2017.” Her story is that she enjoyed having sex with this elderly married guy right up to the day that he no longer had the power to do stuff for her? (He’s 75 now; Peng Shuai is 35)

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said administration officials did not believe it was appropriate to send a delegation of U.S. officials to the Games in February after “genocide and crimes against humanity” in Xinjiang.

“Genocide” is so bad that the word doesn’t appear in the story until after we learn about the young tennis player who was having sex with an old married guy?

But previous attempts to pull athletes out of the Games have fallen flat. The last time the United States pursued a full boycott of the Olympics was in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter rallied against allowing athletes to participate in the Summer Games in Moscow, to protest the Soviet Union’s military presence in Afghanistan.

The New York Times doesn’t mention that, in addition to boycotting the sports event, we poured cash and weapons into the hands of the Mujahideen (“those engaged in jihad”). How did that work out for us? (see also “How Jimmy Carter Started America’s Afghanistan Folly” (Washington Monthly))

So… we won’t send any U.S. politicians or bureaucrats to China, but we will send $1 billion in cash for the host city’s share of the American broadcast rights? How does our family sign up to be boycotted?


Excitement building in London, May 2012:

“London’s Summer Games in 2012 generated $5.2 billion compared with $18 billion in costs. What’s more, much of the revenue doesn’t go to the host—the IOC keeps more than half of all television revenue, typically the single largest chunk of money generated by the games.” (CFR)

12 thoughts on “We are standing up to China by sending $1 billion for broadcast rights to the Beijing Olympics?

  1. How does out family sign up to be boycotted? Probably meant to say “our” family. Interesting this typo comes on the day our fine host writes a blog post about using correct grammar!

    • Ouch! r and t right next to each other on the keyboard. And a grammar check program wouldn’t flag “out family” as an error because it could mean a family in which 100 percent of the members had come out as 2SLGBTQQIA+. Fixed.

  2. Not sure what game is being played here at the highest level about China but it’s been a few decades since big businesses call all the shots on all major foreign and domestic affairs decisions. The guy on the top was elected to be a figurehead. We practically gave our entire industrial base to China, ostensibly to improve margins and increase stock price…China is enjoying record foreign trade surplus again after 3 years of higher tariffs and get to spend it on AI, hypersonics and hiring lobbyists…

  3. > How does out family sign up to be boycotted?

    You know, this is genius. The United States should boycott *ITSELF!* It’s the only thing that will work in Stupid Universe we inhabit. We know “can do” doesn’t work. We know competence and intelligence don’t work. We know honesty and probity and prudence don’t work. What works? Total stupidity on every level.

    So we boycott ourselves, like a 7 year old that runs away, gets scared halfway down the block, and goes and hides in the neighbors backyard gazebo. We just institute a total blackout on all American media products, we tell all our people to boycott American companies, stop going to work, stop sending their kids to school, etc. We tell our military to stand down everywhere, bring the ships home, bring the soldiers home, bring the Special Operations forces home. We shut down all the spy satellites, surveillance, and we pull back all our intelligence operatives. We close down all our diplomatic relations with everyone in the world: A total All American Boycott of America, Everywhere. It’s the only thing that might work.

  4. I recommend this book.

    “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup” by Andrew Zimbalist

  5. Strange to be seeing the 2nd Beijing olympics in 14 years. Is the repeat performance to cement China’s return as the world’s largest economy or is China the only country wealthy enough to host the olympics anymore?

    • Lion2: That is a great point. Given the huge waste of environmental resources in building stadiums, transit systems to those stadiums, etc., the best way to preserve our beloved Mother Earth would be to declare that all future Olympicsm, both summer and winter, will be run out of existing facilities in Beijing. If some other country feels like spending $50 billion during an Olympics year it can set up a utility-scale solar power array (using Chinese-fabricated cells, of course).

  6. Not really related, but kind of. Today the President is talking to Putin about his plans to invade Ukraine. He’s got something like 175,000 troops along the border all charged up and ready to go, so it’ll be an awful letdown to all those guys if they have to pack up and go home.

    Biden is trying to deter him by threatening to harm the Russian economy.

    I think this actually might work! Take a look at what they’ve been able to accomplish here at home! Putin should believe him!


    “We’ve consulted significantly with our allies and believe we have a path forward that would impose significant and severe harm on the Russian economy,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday in previewing the meeting. “You can call that a threat. You can call that a fact. You can call that preparation. You can call it whatever you want to call it.”

    Is this what we’d call the: “Stick to what you know best” version of foreign policy?

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