With the Winter Olympics now just two months away, China seems to be getting worried about calls to boycott the Beijing Games—and it has started putting pressure on American companies with close links to the country. In a video conference Tuesday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng urged American execs to push back against boycott calls and "make a positive contribution" to the Games, the Washington Post reports. "Boycotting the Olympics for political reasons harms the interests of athletes, violates the common ideals and pursuits of the international community, and is unpopular," Xie said, per the Guardian.
Xie, speaking to groups including the US-China Business Council, also urged the Americans to push the Biden administration to lift tariffs against China and "clearly oppose the politicization of economic and trade issues and the abuse of the concept of national security." He warned that if US-China relations deteriorate, "the business community cannot make a fortune in silence." Xie said that issues including Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Tibet are areas where China has "no room for compromise."
The US and numerous other countries that have spoken out against China's human rights abuses are considering "diplomatic boycotts" of the Beijing Games, in which athletes would attend but not government officials—though the state-run Global Times claimed this week that China hadn't planned to invite Western politicians in the first place. Axios notes one business leader who appears to agree with Beijing is billionaire hedge fund founder Ray Dalio. When asked about human rights in China, where he has major investments, Dalio told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that he doesn't try to be an expert in "those types of things" and said China's system is "like a strict parent." (The WTA has suspended all of its tournaments in China.)