[Epoch Times News on August 4, 2021](English Epoch Times columnist Chris Fenton, Corey Ray, compiled by the original spring) For those of us engaged in international relations and global research, one of our favorite guessing games is answer How should Western powers deal with the issue of China? There is no doubt that this country once called the “sleeping dragon” has woken up and has shaken the international order with its aggressive economic policies, worrying espionage activities and anti-democratic ideology.
Some scholars believe that economic integration is the best; others suggest strengthening the military presence in the South China Sea and strengthening cyber warfare capabilities. Former President Trump (Trump) tried to restrain the CCP through a controversial tit-for-tat trade war. However, if there is one thing that the CCP desires most, it is that its legitimacy has been recognized by the international community, and the Western world has failed to properly utilize this desire.
In February 2022, the CCP will host the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Just like the CCP hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008, the world‘s eyes will focus on this divided global superpower. The Olympics provides a rare combination of cultural and commercial levers for the United States and our Western allies. We should use this advantage to truly change the CCP’s increasingly provocative, unbalanced, and often immoral behavior. To do this, the Western allies must submit a list of constructive requirements to the Chinese Communist regime. At the same time, they must strengthen their determination to unite. If the requirements are not met, they will resist.
If the CCP does not meet these requirements, the United States and our allies should prevent sports delegations from participating in the competition and embarrass the CCP on one of the greatest stages in the world. This is not an easy task and may lead to unbearable sacrifices. But it can be done, and it must be done!
There is no doubt that in order to complete this plan, athletes have to make huge sacrifices. The sweat and resources spent may be wasted, including life-long dedication, financial resources, and investment in their respective sports-this is something that no politician or executive class can make up. It is precisely because of real investment that athletes should lead such a bold action. They deserve this right. Athlete-led boycotts may be the best mechanism to change the behavior of the CCP, because other methods have failed in history.
Professor Nicholas Evan Sarantakes of the U.S. Naval War College emphasized in his book “Drop the Torch” that President Jimmy Carter’s contribution to the 1980 Summer Olympics False boycott. This decision only caused commotion and contempt among US allies, and ultimately failed to drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. At present, the Biden administration has not expressed its intention to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics.
At the same time, Utah State Senator Mitt Romney (Mitt Romney) proposed a “right way to boycott,” he suggested targeted boycotts instead of punishing athletes with outright boycotts and allowing athletes to participate. , While restricting the attendance of non-athletes, and carrying out non-traditional diplomacy in the form of economic and diplomatic embargoes.
For Carter, a boycott led by politicians had no effect. As for Biden, difficult decisions have not yet been made, and there is no real opportunity for negotiations. Romney only proposed an immature strategy. All three examples demonstrate the complexity and compromise involved when government leaders debate the best solution.
The 1980 Winter Olympics ice hockey hero Mike Eruzione (Mike Eruzione) did not recommend any form of boycott. He believes that if it defeats the Chinese, especially on their territory, the CCP will lose face and create a bargaining chip for the negotiation to save face. Eruzion believes that the “Miracle on Ice” ranks first in the great moments in the history of American sports and has strengthened America’s confidence in difficult times.
(Translator’s Note: “Miracle on Ice” refers to the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. The American ice hockey team composed of college students defeated the former Soviet Union, which was extremely powerful at the time and had a super dominance in ice hockey. Team game.)
Although Romney and Eruzion take different approaches, they both recommend that American athletes represent our country in Beijing, or at least have the right to choose. This unique commonality is also very American, because our athletes compete in the free market. Newly-emerged athletes choose their own sports without the guidance of the central government or sports departments.
In fact, our country’s core values prevent the government from banning the right of athletes to compete, as well as the right to watch games as spectators. Imagine an American athlete ignoring the ban and choosing to represent a neutral country. Think about those steadfast American fans who are still waving our national flag there. The Chinese media will be full of enthusiasm for such a scene, blatantly advocating that Americans despise their own government.
Therefore, let the athletes follow their collective conscience. If they want to compete, let them go.If they don’t want to, then actively support the boycott and establish a realUnited front. Whether they are athletes, amateurs or professional players, they must make a joint decision through democratic voting. The result will determine whether our country is capable of putting forward the requirements of the CCP that must be met by athletes.
We hope that athletes will use the necessary levers of potential resistance to force the CCP to take action. If it is achieved, our politicians can proceed to formulate what these requirements are. Then, our athletes will submit to the CCP with the threat of voluntary boycott as a punitive deterrent.
If you agree, we will come; if you refuse, we will resist.
Recently, the active actions of athletes have moved the balance of power away from team owners and various governments. These protests successfully drove away the team owner, changed the venue of the All-Star Game, and changed the requirements of the team uniform. If athletes from all over the world assume a unified posture and threaten not to participate in the competition, then Beijing will have no choice but to change their behavior, otherwise it will fall into an embarrassing situation internationally.
For athletes, doing the right thing can also be rewarded. Although (American sprinter) John Carlos, (1968 Olympic 200m champion) Tommy Smith (Tommie Smith) and (famous American boxer and boxing champion) Mohammed Ali (Mohammed Ali) because of their The actions suffered personal and financial losses, but current examples show that this is no longer the norm. In fact, the recent actions of athletes have expanded their personal brands and thus increased their income.
In short, we should let the athletes make the decision. If this choice provides a red line lever for resistance, we can witness the biggest game changer-the CCP’s retreat.
So, for the great athletes of our country… Just like Nike’s classic slogan, “Just Do It!” (Just Do It!)
Original: To Boycott China or Not: Let the Athletes Decide was published in the English “Epoch Times“.
About the Author:
Chris Fenton has long served as a media executive. He is also an expert on US-China issues and often teaches “National Security and Sports” courses at the National War College. He is also a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, as well as a trustee of the American Institute of Asian Studies. Follow him on Twitter: @TheDragonFeeder.
Corey Ray is a captain of the United States Navy and an assistant professor at the National War College, teaching the course “National Security Strategy Logic”. He created a course that combines background analysis from the unique perspective of sports with the application of sports as a non-military means of national power to design strategies to respond to contemporary security challenges. Follow him on Twitter: @CoreyW_Ray.
This article only represents the author’s own views and does not necessarily reflect the position of The Epoch Times.
Editor in charge: Gao Jing#