In December, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia all announced diplomatic boycotts against the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, and since then, several other nations around the world have joined the boycott.
A diplomatic boycott means that government officials from those nations will not attend the Olympic Games. This sent an important message to the citizens of those countries that attending the games even as spectators is immoral and at odds with the spirit of their own nation.
The Chinese Communist Party knew this, and in a preemptive attempt to avoid the embarrassment of empty bleachers, it made a decision on Jan. 17 not to sell spectator tickets to people from outside China’s mainland, and invite in controlled groups instead.
The Organizing Committee of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which are just days away from starting, has announced that it will not be selling tickets to the general public due to COVID-19 concerns.
Initially, individuals living on mainland China were the only people allowed to purchase tickets for the event, but the committee has now revoked that plan, citing “the current grave and complicated situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In a statement, the committee wrote that the new policy is being put in effect to “ensure the safety of all participants and spectators.”
China’s government is paying social media influencers in the U.S. to promote the Beijing Olympics and distract from diplomatic boycotts over its human rights violations, according to disclosures filed with the Department of Justice.
The Chinese consulate is paying Vippi, a New Jersey based public relations firm, $300,000 to have influencers on Instagram, TikTok and Twitch promote the Beijing Olympics, according to the disclosures. The influencers will also be required to promote U.S.-China cooperation on issues including energy and climate change.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics have inspired diplomatic boycotts from the U.S., Australia and the U.K. due to China’s purported ethnic cleansing and torture of Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic minority in Western China.