Dutch boycott of Winter Olympics in Beijing pointless, expert says
The Netherlands boycotting the Winter Olympics as the White House has done is of little concern to China, China expert Frans-Paul van der Putten told NU.nl.
American government representatives will stay at home while American athletes compete in the Winter Olympics in Beijing to protest China's human rights violations of the Muslim Uyghur minority and in Tibet. "If the Netherlands were to boycott China, China would hardly notice it. The Netherlands is trying to coordinate with European partners, and that is exactly what you need to do," Van der Putten said. The China expert said that countries boycotting the Olympics draws international attention to the situation in China but does little to solve problems.
In 2021, the Tweede Kamer adopted a motion from D66 MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, which labeled China's treatment of the Uyghur population as genocide. "The Kamer signaled that this is an important and serious topic, but there are also economic ties and security concerns that you have to consider," the Van der Putten said.
The China expert said the Netherlands will remain critical of the human rights situation in China, "but we want to keep the door open for further dialogue with China."
Van der Putten said he would watch the Winter Olympics "not for ice skating or skiing but to see what Chinese leader Xi Jinping has to say."