With the 24th Winter Olympic Games, Beijing has become the first city to host both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games – a source of national pride and a sign of China’s ambition to become a global superpower. The leadup to the games, however, has been mired by the decision of several liberal democracies not to send high level dignitaries to the games in protest over human rights violations in Xinjiang. In addition, the specter of the ongoing global COVID pandemic is having its effect on the games.
What do the Winter Olympic Games 2022 mean for the Chinese leadership, how is COVID affecting this year’s games and what do the Chinese people think about them? We will discuss these questions with Valarie Tan, Analyst at MERICS. In her view, “both Olympic Games [2008 and 2022] are part of Xi Jinping’s legacy and a true reflection of Chinas expansion and ambition to become a global superpower.”