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How the Diplomatic Boycott of the Beijing Olympics may Play Out for the U.S.

December 13, 2021

How the Diplomatic Boycott of the Beijing Olympics may Play Out for the U.S.

Ask students: Who is interviewed in this piece and what is his background? Why has the U.S. decided to not send an “official delegation” to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing?

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Summary

The Biden administration will not send an official delegation to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Administration officials say the diplomatic boycott aims to protest China’s human rights abuses. To break down what this means for U.S.-China relations, Amna Nawaz is joined by Victor Cha of Georgetown University, who was former director of Asian affairs on the National Security Council.

Five Facts

  • Who is interviewed in this piece and what is his background?
  • Why has the U.S. decided to not send an “official delegation” to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing?
  • What are some of China’s alleged human rights abuses that the U.S. is protesting with its boycott?
  • How might China respond with “countermeasures” to a boycott, according to Cha?
  • When did Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai disappear, and what was the international reaction to her disappearance?

Focus Questions

Victor Cha says that he doesn’t think the U.S. boycott is intended to “change Chinese policy.” If that is true, what do you think is the point of the boycott? Do you think it will have any impact?

Media literacy

Victor Cha offers his opinion that he thinks U.S. athletes should be allowed to compete in Beijing, unlike the boycott of the Soviet Union that extended to U.S. athletes in 1980. Why do you think Cha offers his personal opinion or preference? What does it add or take away from his analysis as an expert?

Additional Resources

  • For more on Chinese tennis pro Peng Shuai and international concern about her safety, see this lesson or watch this video.
  • View more resources on the Olympics in SML's curated collection here.

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Extra.

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PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories. The site combines the best of NewsHour's reliable, trustworthy news program with lesson plans developed specifically for... See More
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