China Hawks Try for Beijing Olympics Boycotts on Defense Bill

China Hawks Try for Beijing Olympics Boycotts on Defense Bill

The Emblem of Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games is installed at Shijingshan district on August 1, 2021 in Beijing, China. Jacqueline Feldscher The debate over boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics surfaced in the House Armed Services Committee’s consideration of its annual defense bill on Wednesday, revealing how bipartisan China hawks are struggling to find ways to punish the regime. Some lawmakers argued that sponsors of the Beijing Winter Olympics , such as Coca-Cola or Procter & Gamble, shouldn’t be allowed to sell their products on military installations. But others were reluctant to prevent military families from buying Tide laundry detergent or to punish athletes who have worked for more than a decade to reach the pinnacle of their sport. The proposal ultimately failed by a bipartisan 22-36 vote. Only one Democrat joined 21 Republicans, though other Democrats expressed support for finding ways Congress can get tougher on China. That problem—that officials want to target Beijing but aren’t willing to accept negative consequences to do so—is emblematic of the broader issue Washington faces in combating China’s rise, experts say. “If you want to use elements of national power, hard power or soft power, it will cost you something,” said Nicholas Evan Sarantakes , an associate professor of strategy and policy at the U.S. Naval War College. “What we’re saying now as a nation is that the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.” Lawmakers recognized that the spirited debate during the markup of the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act was a […]

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