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March 29, 2021 ~ The courtship of the world’s two superpowers began in 1972 when Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger first set foot on the soil of China’s 5,000-year-old nation. The relationship then blossomed for decades between one, a fully developed nation, the United States, and the other, a sleeping dragon, China. That ravenous beast embraced the challenge of becoming a developed-world equal with lightning-quick speed, loose rules, and a chip on its shoulder.

As a result, the Middle Kingdom progressed from a capitalistic infant to adolescent in only three decades, ultimately culminating in its globally staged 2008 debutante party, the Beijing Summer Olympics. American sponsors Coca-Cola, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Nike, and Visa, as well as athletes like LeBron James and Michael Phelps, arrived with great fanfare to represent our nation’s commitment to China’s progress towards developed-world adulthood. Our Western allies joined to usher similar praise and respect.

In the thirteen years since, the world has witnessed China reach that adult stage in powerful, and often nefarious, fashion. The 2022 Winter Olympics is scheduled to open in Beijing on Feb. 4, 2022. With the 2008 coming-of-age ceremony deep in the rearview mirror, these upcoming Olympics will be China’s version of a fancy adult dinner party. With meticulous attention to every detail, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will expect nothing less than perfection. That means full attendance by all the invited guests. Anything less will result in a loss of face on a globally embarrassing scale.

Therefore, the “should America boycott or not?” question is not the correct one. Instead, it should be, “how does the West best use the threat of a boycott?” as America and our allies possess a rare and powerful form of leverage, capable of pressuring constructive change from the CCP in a variety of areas.

By Chris Fenton

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