Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Beijing will host its second Olympics next year

  • The CCP hopes for a propaganda victory

  • But an Olympic Boycott threatens everything

  • Welcome to China Uncensored, I'm Chris Chappell.

  • The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are fast approaching.

  • Back in 2008, the first Beijing Olympics was an enormous propaganda victory for the Chinese

  • Communist Party.

  • The entire world was fixated on the vibrant, colorful opening ceremony.

  • And a little less focused on the genocide of Tibetans.

  • Falun Gong.

  • And Uyghur Muslims.

  • The Olympics changed how people around the world thought about China and the Chinese

  • Communist Party.

  • It was no longer the country of this.

  • But the country of this.

  • And right now, there's a lot of things the CCP would like people to forget.

  • The coronavirus.

  • Economic espionage.

  • And of course more genocide.

  • Maybe another Olympics will make everyone forget about that stuff!

  • But there's a growing, international push to boycott the Beijing Olympics.

  • And it has the CCP terrified.

  • Joining me to talk about what an Olympic boycott could do is Chris Fenton.

  • He's the former president of DMG Entertainment Motion Picture Group, and he worked in Hollywood

  • for two decades on some of the biggest blockbuster movies.

  • He's also the author of the new bookFEEDING THE DRAGON: Inside the Trillion Dollar Dilemma

  • Facing Hollywood, the NBA, & American Business.”

  • Thanks for joining us again, Chris.

  • Yeah.

  • Thanks for having me, always honored.

  • Yeah.

  • So as somebody who worked in Hollywood you got a sense for what China wants and doesn't

  • want.

  • And you've been arguing that a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is a serious

  • threat to the Chinese Regime.

  • Why is that?

  • Well it's interesting.

  • I lecture quite often at the National War College for a soft power specialist who's

  • actually an active captain in the US Military.

  • His name's Captain [Corey Ray 00:00:35].

  • And he actually argues that boycotts themselves aren't the most effective use of getting change

  • between the dynamics of multiple countries or in a bilateral relationship.

  • So we actually came up with the idea of using a threat of a boycott to create the leverage

  • that would constructively disrupt the US China relationship and allow us to push for certain

  • changes that can get done in the next 300 days.

  • And I actually did an op-ed recently where I cited some of his theory and historical

  • perspective on boycotts, but then also talked about the effectiveness of actually saying,

  • hey look, if you don't give us these handful of things, these check the box type of achievements,

  • then we're not showing up.

  • And there's a lot of reasons why I think that will create the leverage we need to get the

  • change done.

  • But for a threat of a boycott to be effective there has to be the actual threat of a boycott.

  • 100%.

  • So what do you think the boycott should look like?

  • Well I think what needs to happen is, well first of all you have to look at the perspective

  • of China, right?

  • In the 2008 days, that huge summer Olympics was sort of their coming of age party, right?

  • They were in this preteen adolescent state as far as a developed nation, as far as a

  • capitalistic economic powerhouse.

  • That 2008 stage was, on a global platform it was allowing them to say, here we are,

  • right?

  • Since then, in the next 13 years, they have developed from preteen into adolescence and

  • into an adulthood stage.

  • So this upcoming Beijing Olympics in 2022 is really like this fancy adult dinner party

  • that they want to throw in a perfect manner.

  • It needs to be meticulous to detail and it needs to have perfect attendance.

  • And if people don't show, if countries do not show up it will be a major face issue,

  • not only for them on a global stage, but also for them inside their own country.

  • And remember that our number one priority is to keep 1.4 billion people just happy enough

  • that they don't revolt.

  • So by putting a line in the sand and saying, hey, we have serious things we want to achieve

  • in the next 300 days.

  • If you do not do that we will not show up.

  • That is going to wake them up to the fact that we are serious and that their fancy dinner

  • party is in jeopardy if they don't abide by some of the ideas that we present to them.

  • So for instance, the Olympic athletes might still go to the games, but President Biden

  • might not show.

  • No.

  • I think actually the threat needs to be followed through if they don't.

  • For instance, all this provocation, all of these pushes into Taiwan airspace, into Taiwan

  • maritime territory by the PLA, by these military exercises, those need to stop.

  • If any more of those occur between now and Beijing 2022 we simply will not show up and

  • we will try to find and get behind us others of our Western allies to also agree to not

  • to show up.

  • Now if you look at who's out there that I think can provide that strength in numbers,

  • united we stand type of discipline, I would argue Australia would definitely be one of

  • them.

  • Canada would be another.

  • And the UK would probably be another.

  • So between those four that's a pretty good start.

  • I would also argue there's lots of European nations that might back us too.

  • And on behalf of the actual athletes involved, which by the way, none of us want to penalize

  • over this geopolitical issue, I would argue that we could actually throw our own, whether

  • it's in Park City, Utah, whether it's in Vancouver at one of the former Olympic sites in one

  • of our allies or within our own nation so there is a way to allow them to still compete

  • yet also uphold the threat and the red line that we put in the sand.

  • But we need to give them what those things are so that we use the leverage that we have

  • over the next 300 days to actually get this done.

  • The checklist you mentioned, what would some of those things be?

  • You mentioned Taiwan, which if a threat of a Olympic boycott could actually affect how

  • the Chinese Communist Party treats Taiwan, that would be a pretty powerful thing.

  • Well think about it.

  • It's actually a bit of a baby step.

  • I mean obviously the big North Star we would like to say is that Taiwan is no longer China,

  • we are not abiding by the One-China policy anymore, you guys cannot touch Taiwan even

  • though you believe it's part of the PRC.

  • That would be the North Star.

  • I would say over the next 300 days there's probably a baby step approach we can achieve,

  • which is no more provocation, no more threats, no more thumping the chest, no more military

  • exercises.

  • You do that, the red line will be crossed, we will not come.

  • There's other things like that that we should do too.

  • Obviously the human rights issue is something that's a big situation right now that's creating

  • lots of controversy.

  • We should have access to the Jinjiang Province without huge prescheduled visits too.

  • And open access to everything we need to see.

  • Because quite frankly, if there are propaganda about how they're not doing anything wrong

  • or inhibiting human rights issues when it comes to the Uighurs, if that's actually true

  • we will see it and we'll drop that argument.

  • But the fact is, we know that's not the case.

  • When you look at the WTO designation that we gave them back in 2001 as a developing

  • nation, I think right now we have the leverage to say you're no longer developing nation,

  • you should be developed.

  • That right away, that little baby step, that change in terminology will rebalance the trade

  • dynamic drastically because they will have to abide by developed nation principles rather

  • than developing nation.

  • Those are just three examples.

  • And obviously my examples are just ideas that I want to throw out there and get the discussion

  • going because we have 300 days left and we're going to lose this point of leverage if we

  • don't act on it soon.

  • So why are the Olympics such an important battle?

  • It's interesting.

  • The Olympics by itself is just a sporting event.

  • I mean what's the big deal honestly?

  • But when you think about the way the Chinese Communist Party operates in that 1.4 billion

  • people just having enough that they don't revolt, a lot of that has to do with providing

  • them all of what they need and some of what they want, but it also has to do with giving

  • them the aspirational idea that they can achieve more if they work harder and keep moving in

  • the right direction.

  • And then on top of it, it's about promoting the leadership that works for them, that 1.4

  • billion people as something that's respected on a global stage as well as internally inside

  • of China.

  • So that respect on a global stage is completely symbolic by the people that show up to see

  • what this Olympics is going to be, to see what the communist party was able to put together

  • infrastructure wise and the kind of party and dinner party atmosphere it's going to

  • be overall, and to be impressed with what China has built over such a short amount of

  • time since they've really opened up over the last 40 years.

  • And the eyes of the Chinese populace are going to be watching every one of those moves.

  • So if anything doesn't go exactly according to plan there's going to be doubt in the eyes

  • of the people that they rule and that is not good for them if they want to keep everybody

  • content.

  • And you mentioned earlier the idea that if Beijing does cross whatever the red line is

  • we could hold our own quote unquote games somewhere else in the world.

  • And this is something that I've always wondered about.

  • Why does the international Olympic committee, they've just been so willing to turn a blind

  • eye to China's human rights abuses.

  • Well it's an unfortunate thing that goes back to why lots of companies, lots of industries

  • are turning a blind eye to human rights abuses and all the other things that we have issues

  • with when it comes to China or various other countries around the world.

  • If there's money to be made, capitalism and that reckless form of capitalism tends to

  • trump things that are maybe morally and ethically correct or the values and principles that

  • we hold dearly.

  • When you look at the IOC, they not only are looking to provide the revenues that they're

  • looking for from the given Olympics every two years, but on top of it they need major

  • infrastructure put together over the course of a decade prior to pull those Olympics off

  • well.

  • And quite frankly, one of the only kinds of countries that's willing to put that type

  • of taxpayer money or central planning money towards that cause happens to be centrally

  • planned countries around the world.

  • And that's why we unfortunately see more Olympics carried on in non-democratic countries than

  • in democratic countries.

  • Well so for the people watching, what can they do to help build momentum for a boycott

  • of the Olympic games?

  • Well that's a fantastic question.

  • And if we always look at everything stops at the buck, that's probably one of the best

  • places to do that.

  • Since the Daryl Morey tweet, the GM of the Houston Rockets back in October 2019 when

  • he supported essentially the protest rights of Hong Kong citizens back in that situation,

  • we became more cognizant as citizens, as journalists, as policy makers, as elected officials to

  • what essentially was this head in the sand action that companies and industries had when

  • it came to obvious human rights abuses that were happening in China.

  • And that was all because investors benefited from keeping that head in the sand, stocks

  • and the stock prices and the share prices benefited, revenues benefited, profits, et

  • cetera.

  • The best way to attack that is to say to those companies, hey, look, we will support you

  • if you support what we think is American, what we think is the value and principle that

  • we want you to abide by.

  • We will buy your product and service.

  • And if they stop buying the products and services of these companies, whether it's here in the

  • United States or in other Western allied markets, those companies will start to feel it.

  • And suddenly the negative effect of what's happening in markets outside of China will

  • counteract the actual benefits of continuing to continue down this path with China and

  • hoping that the China revenues offset that negative, right?

  • Once that imbalance gets there, suddenly they're going to have to pay attention.

  • And it's moving that direction.

  • So for instance, if the American people say we will boycott Coca-Cola if Coca-Cola doesn't

  • boycott the Beijing Olympics?

  • Yes.

  • That's probably more of a negative way to make it work.

  • Boycotts in general to me feel like more of a destructive form of resulting in change,

  • but that is one way to go.

  • I think in another aspect it could be the benefit of actually becoming a brand that's

  • known to uphold the ethics and morals and American values that we think so dearly of,

  • right, and essentially allow those companies to grow as far as the way that brand builds.

  • Almost in a Muhammad Ali type of scenario where he took a stand on something and suddenly

  • he became bigger than the sport he actually was a part of and he became more valuable

  • because of that.

  • That's the way I see somebody like for instance LeBron James could do.

  • If he took a stand, says I don't want my 50 million out of China because I want to be

  • on a crusade to actually fix the wrongs in the world, he suddenly transforms from just

  • the best in basketball and the best in essentially domestic social issues to one that he is fighting

  • for on a global level.

  • And I would say that would take his $1 billion and make it into 3 billion.

  • Well I hope...

  • That's very optimistic.

  • I hope we can see that kind of change happen.

  • Well you know what, as we talked about earlier, I look at the China challenge, the challenge

  • that faces us and our Western allies as one of those common causes that red and blue,

  • any type of ideology can get behind because there's national security interests involved,

  • there's economic security interests involved, there are justice and human rights issues

  • involved, there are freedom of speech issues.

  • Those are things that all Americans and all people a part of the democratic world can

  • agree on and if that is what drives us to try to fix this challenge, we're going to

  • unite in the process.

  • So China really brings us all together?

  • Well it hasn't yet, but that's my goal.

  • And that's what gets me to fall asleep at night even though I'm thinking about all of

  • this all the time.

  • And it's what gets me up in the morning excited to talk to people like you who are creating

  • the platform to say, hey look, everybody, this is something that affects you.

  • I know it's a slow moving train wreck, which is the unfortunate part about this challenge,

  • it's not something that happens right away, but it's something we're running out of time

  • on.

  • Something that I look at the 2025 initiatives that they have there and I say, you know what,

  • once they get there it's going to be hard to get past that day of reckoning and actually

  • fix some of these things.

  • We have a ticking clock.