Chinese dissident Wang Dan called for a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games in a video, streamed live on his YouTube channel on March 14, 2021. He explained that the Chinese Communist Party seeks to host the Olympics in order to promote its political propaganda and to use sports to whitewash its "dictatorial rule." He said that while democratic countries may bring honor to their countries by hosting the Olympics, China is hosting this event under this "authoritarian and centralized system" in order to benefit the ruling class, not to bring glory to the Chinese people. Wang Dan was one of the most prominent student leaders in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
Wang Dan: "This idea that we should not tie sports to politics is, I think, complete nonsense. In fact, if you think about it, the first to do so was the Chinese Communist Party that advocated the use of sports for political propaganda. Think of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which commissioned Zhang Yimou to stage a great power show with fascist aesthetics, and that sporting event was presented as 'washing away a century of humiliation of the Chinese nation.' When you hold a sporting event, several people compete to see who can run faster — what does this have to do with 'century of humiliation of the Chinese nation?' They had to forcefully bind them together.
"So what does this tell us? First of all, it shows that the fundamental purpose behind the Chinese Communist Party's bid to host the [winter] olympics has never been to bring glory to the Chinese nation or to the Chinese people. It is for its own political objectives. I cite this as a very important reason why we should boycott the Beijing Olympics. Their purpose is to whitewash their own politics, to tie sports and politics together, to consolidate the foundation of this dictatorial rule of the Chinese Communist Party. Isn't that what the Olympic Games is all about?
"When other countries, democratic countries host the Olympics, it may be an honor. But to host the Olympics under this authoritarian and centralized system of the Chinese Communist Party, we must know that it is not for the Chinese people. It is the ruling class that is benefiting. And it does not have a mentality of running a sporting event either. The purpose of hosting the Olympics is to use the sporting event to serve its own politics. So of course, we are attacking them with their own weapon, and our act of boycotting it is of course political. That is because it [CCP] turns sports into a kind of politics, so of course we have to do the opposite and defuse this practice. This is a very important reason for us to boycott the Olympics."