China, the Olympic Games, and a Changing World (Order)
Heidi Østbø Haugen (UiO), Øystein Tunsjø (FHS), Kjersti Strømmen (NRK) and Julia Christine Marinaccio (UiB)
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Due to rising concerns about human rights violations, some countries have withdrawn their official representation, including the US and Denmark.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?
Heidi Østbø Haugen (participates digitally) is Professor of China Studies at the University of Oslo and holds a PhD in Human Geography. Her research on China’s bid for the 2008 Olympic Games is published in the anthology Owning the Olympics: Narratives of the new China (University of Michigan Press). Her other research interests include informal trade and migration between China and West Africa and regional development in South China.
Øystein Tunsjø (participates digitally) is Professor and Head of the Security in Asia Program at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies at the Norwegian Defence University College. Tunsjø is author of The Return of Bipolarity in World Politics: China, the United States and Geostructural Realism, (Columbia University Press, 2018); Security and Profits in China’s Energy Policy: Hedging Against Risk (Columbia University Press, 2013) and US Taiwan Policy: Constructing the Triangle (London: Routledge, 2008).
Kjersti Strømmen (participates digitally) is Asia-correspondent for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), based in China. She has an MA in social anthropology from the University of Bergen and an MA in journalism from Graduate school of journalism, University of Western Ontario. She won «news-video of the year» 2020, from Pressefotografenes klubb, Oslo.
Julia Christine Marinaccio (participates onsite) is a postdoc fellow at the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Bergen, where she researches Chinese domestic policies and China-Taiwan relations.
Photo: zhang kaiyv, Unsplash