The 2008 Summer Olympic Games were broadly perceived as a grand international media event for China to stage itself as an economically and politically (fu) rising power. This time, the Winter Olympic Games occur in a self-declared strong (qiang) China but an environment of increasingly aggravating international relations.
Due to rising concerns about human rights violations, some countries have withdrawn their official representation, including the US and Denmark. In addition to restrictive entry regulations into China due to the ongoing pandemic, the organizers recently announced that only “selected” spectators would be invited to watch the games in person. Thus, while traditional and social media will ensure that the sporting competitions will reach every household in China and abroad, the Games 2022 will be staged in a site more isolated than maybe ever before in history.
What differentiates the Games 2022 from those in 2008 in light of the changing world order and recent developments in international relations? How effective are diplomatic boycotts and how are they perceived by Chinese people? What impact do the physical entry restrictions have on an event of this national and international importance?
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