Olympic Games in Japan and China or the War of the Rings | Olympic Games

Radio-Canada Sports discussed it with Loïc Tassé, lecturer in the Department of Political Science and specialist in China and Asia at the University of Montreal.

The rivalry between the Japanese and the Chinese has never faded since the Sino-Japanese war of 1937 to 1945. The atrocities committed against the Chinese people are still very much in the memories of the country of the Middle Empire. Even though the two neighboring nations are important economic partners, their relationship continues to deteriorate. And now the Olympic Games are at the heart of a geopolitical issue.

If the Games were to be canceled in Japan, China would emerge victorious.

Loïc Tassé, specialist in China and Asia at the University of Montreal

The Japanese population is less and less ready to host the Games and the latest polls show it. It is clear that for both countries, the Olympic Games represent a major stake. The problem for Japan is that the vaccine won’t be approved until next May, and it’s hard to believe that everyone will be vaccinated before the Games start.

If the Tokyo Games are canceled, China will have won the war against the pandemic. For the Japanese government, which persists in believing that the Games are going to take place, it is a question of prestige and politics, especially since it is not very popular at the moment. And he hopes it will boost his popularity.

The rivalry between the two countries is not new. If the Japanese have erased war from their history books, the Chinese have not forgotten.

Loïc Tassé and Charles-Philippe David on the program Tout le monde en parle.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Karine Dufour

We can say that during this war, the Japanese behaved like Nazis, explains the specialist in Asia. They have squarely created camps in China that have nothing to envy to those that the Germans erected during World War II. The Japanese literally invaded a large part of the territory and enslaved a population and above all massacred large numbers of Chinese.

As much this painful episode in the history of Japan is rather forgotten in the history books, as much in China, it is quite the opposite. He is constantly recalled for nationalist purposes. This is why even today there is a real resentment towards the Japanese which is cultivated.

If the stake of the holding of the Olympic Games is political in Japan, in China, it is a question of propaganda.

We saw this clearly during the 2008 Games in Beijing. It was an element of prestige among the population, but a way for the Chinese government to show its power around the world. And the upcoming Games are going to be a political instrument for the Chinese, says Mr. Tassé.

The man still warns the Chinese, because there is more and more protest and repression that could lead to a boycott of the next 2022 Games.

The Chinese government has been very hard on its Uighur people. He opened re-education camps where more than a million people are said to have passed and there is even talk of a cultural genocide. We must not forget either what happened in Hong Kong, where the Chinese government crushed all democratic inclinations. And there is more and more talk in Europe, but also in the United States, of resorting to a boycott of the Beijing Games. That is why the Chinese government must be very careful about what it is going to do between now and the Olympics.

Tokyo Olympics 2020

Tokyo Olympics 2020

Photo : Getty Images / KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP

The Olympic Games, whether in Japan or China, would they be held hostage for political reasons, but also economic? A certainty for Loïc Tassé.

Obviously, it’s no secret that the Olympics are big money. More and more the economy of the world is shifting to Asia and, in that game, it is only fitting that China takes more and more place in the Olympic world. Japan too, because it is all the same the third world economic power. But Japan is a democracy, and the Games don’t serve as a propaganda tool like in China, he argues.

China is a very authoritarian country which is even beginning to become totalitarian and which instrumentalizes all its representations abroad for political propaganda purposes much more than Japan. And we must expect for 2022 Games as spectacular as those of 2008. We will once again want to show the know-how and prove that it is an extraordinary country, even if it is not democratic. He is doing extremely well around the world. And it is certain that here, the Games are much more than in 2008 an instrument of political propaganda.

China, an attractive market of over a billion people

<q data-attributes="{"lang":{"value":"fr","label":"Français"},"value":{"html":"La Chine est un immense marché, c’est un marché qui grandit et ceux qui pensent que c’est la deuxième puissance économique mondiale, eh! bien ils se trompent, même le gouvernement américain reconnaît sa place de leader mondial, assure le spécialiste. En parité de pouvoir d’achat, la Chine est la première puissance économique du monde, elle vaut chaque année 24000billions of dollars. China is therefore 20% more powerful than the United States right now. “,” text “:” China is a huge market, it’s a growing market and those who think it’s the second largest economy in the world, eh! well they are wrong, even the American government recognizes its place of world leader, assures the specialist. In purchasing power parity, China is the first economic power in the world, it is worth 24,000 billion dollars each year. China is therefore 20% more powerful than the United States at the moment. “}}” Lang = “fr”>China is a huge market, it’s a growing market and those who think it’s the second largest economy in the world, eh! well they are wrong, even the American government recognizes its place of world leader, assures the specialist. In purchasing power parity, China is the world’s leading economic power, it is worth 24 trillion dollars each year. China is therefore 20% more powerful than the United States at the moment.

It is therefore no coincidence that the Chinese group Alibaba, a global giant in electronic commerce and online payment platforms, has signed a unique partnership until 2028 with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which places it on the highest step of the sponsorship podium with a multi-hundred million dollar deal. Asia is therefore becoming the preferred Olympic destination for the IOC.

There will therefore be no war of the rings between the land of the rising sun and the Middle Kingdom. If one tries to erase the past, and by holding the Games to show that he has conquered the pandemic from China, the other is already guaranteed to come first by buying himself at a high price for global legitimacy.

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