India’s Unrequited Support & Western Diplomatic Boycott- China’s Winter Olympics 2022

American diplomats won’t be traveling to China for the forthcoming Winter Olympics (February 4-20, 2022) and the subsequent Paralympic Games. Lackeys Australia and Canada, and America’s poodle, Britain, would be ‘diplomatically boycotting’ the Winter Olympics as well. European Parliament has passed a non-binding resolution asking members to not send their diplomats to Beijing. France has not taken a final decision yet, and would do so in conjunction with other European Union members. Officials of France and Italy, being the hosts of 2024 Summer and 2026 Winter Games respectively, might find it awkward to skip Beijing 2022.

The West is concerned about the Human Rights situation and the denial of civil liberties in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Tibet and even on the mainland. The Chinese-run Re-education Camps in Xinjiang have been dubbed as Concentration Chambers. Democratic protests in Hong Kong have been ruthlessly crushed by the CPC. The mysterious disappearance of the tennis player Peng Shuai has generated quite some stir. Residential schools of Tibet are considered as ‘cultural laundries’.

Curiously Hong Kong, most tormented by the CPC, is sending three competitors to Beijing 2022. One sportsperson from Taiwan has qualified so far under the banner of Chinese Taipei. Taiwan, which faces major existential threat from the CPC, has still not decided upon backing or boycotting the Games. There is no word on the Vietnamese and the Filipino positions either. Why play your hand before others do?

Japan is most uneasy with Chinese designs over Senkaku Islands, and the Joint Russian-Chinese Naval Patrol in Western Pacific and Sea of Japan. Chinese bombers have been flying over Sea of Japan with impunity. Whether it is the hypersonic weapon fired by them, or the creation of East Atlantic base in Equatorial Guinea, China’s expansionist intentions have left not just the US and Australia, but also Japan and India, deeply worried. Nationalists in Japan are demanding not just diplomatic boycott, but also that Japanese athletes should b keeping away from the Opening and the Closing Ceremonies. After all, Political leaders and State Officials attend these ceremonies, and team contingents end up saluting the Heads of the Host country, as well as of the IOC.

That would make one think about the Quad, which China regards as its prime adversary, and yet mocks as being too ‘uncoordinated and ineffective’. India has invested a lot of diplomatic capital in the Quad, but seems too confused to act consistently. One can understand India standing in Russia’s corner, given their decades-old relationship, as well as the importance of S-400 missile defense systems. The danger of the American CAATSA sanctions seems to have passed. But why should India be seen as tolerating Russian grandstanding against the US policies in general, and mocking of Quad, AUKUS and Indo-Pacific in particular, that too on a bilateral platform?

 Russia is fishing in troubled waters, caused by the increased Chinese pressure in global affairs. Its designs on Ukraine remain unclear, even as 1.75 lakh troops remain amassed on the border. Belarus Vs. Poland is another hot potato. Biden has no clue as to how to handle Putin. Russian relationship with Biden’s America, and Europe, has completely crumbled. Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Russia-China-Pakistan-Turkey seem to be on the same axis in international relations. Despite the June 2021 Summit between Biden and Putin, a reset in the Russo-American relations seems unlikely. Trump’s hard stance on China was on surer footing, and Biden has no other choice but to continue on the same path.

Why then has India chosen to stand with two confirmed rogue states, China and Russia? Where was the need to extend its full backing to the Beijing Winter Olympics, that too via an online R-I-C Summit? Why have we gone mellow on a country whose blatant infiltration in Ladakh, and incursions in Uttarakhand, Arunahal and Sikkim have created huge embarrassment for us.  We have held a few dozen talks to resolve the present land grab-cum-standoff, but China remains unfazed. Hell, China is virtually sitting on our throats for the past 20 months, and the people of this country consider it as our Enemy Number One! On every forum, at every opportunity, has China acted against India’s national interests. Yet we have rushed to offer support to them when every other country that matters is being circumspect.

Is it because India does not take much shine to the hypocritical Western stand on human rights and civil liberties? Do we consider Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong as internal issues of China, and hence none of our concerns? Have we forgotten the Chinese stance on Kashmir and in the NE? The Quad and other alliances and understandings bring maritime security to the table, but India primarily has land border disputes with China. Surely India does not expect any other country to come to its aid in the event of scaling-up of hostilities. We realize we are our own, and must choose our battles carefully. Maybe the Indian Government wants to appeal to the Chinese goodness, by being magnanimous on this issue.

There is not much at stake for India at the Winter Olympics. India has never won a medal, and has never sent more than four athletes to a single edition of the Games. The Indian government dropped winter sports from the priority list in 1998, and it has not been reinstated yet. The lone qualifier so far is Alpine Skier Arif khan, Shiva Keshavan having retired after the last edition. One can understand the officials’ itch to attend the Games on Taxpayers’ money, but should we not have held back on our unequivocal support? Maybe used it as bargaining chip, perhaps? What have we got out of the decision? Some Chinese State Media’s patronizing words? Surely India is not naïve to believe that the Chinese would dismantle their missile and rocket regiments, deployed on the border, or slow down their massive infrastructure push, just because we are playing useful idiots on this one!

We have done our bit, and cannot now go back on what we have decided, unless China does something really stupid. Let us sit this out, but not expect the Quad, or anyone else to come to our aid, if and when the situation deteriorates on the India-China border.

#RIC #WINTEROLYMPICS #Beijing2022 #BeijingWinterGames #ParalympicGames #China

#Russia #India #diplomaticboycott #xinjiang #tibet #genocide #hongkong #pengshuai #quad

#japan #Senkaku #ladakh #galwan #AUKUS #IndoPacific #CAATSA #S400 #surrender

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