Canada’s parliament has lately been very busy with China. Last week, the House of Commons voted to call on the International Olympic Committee to withdraw the right of Beijing to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics. The same amended motion also declared China to be committing genocide against the Uygurs in Xinjiang. Such calls are similar to those made by the US Congress and the administration of former president Donald Trump. Internationally, more than 180 human rights groups are also calling for an Olympic boycott. Their immediate goal is not so much to target the IOC and Beijing, as to put pressure on the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau and the Joe Biden administration to take a stance on the Beijing Olympics. It’s obvious that the IOC would do no such thing, not only because its bosses have always had friendly relations with China, but also there is no formal mechanism to move the Olympics from a selected host country. Practically, doing it at such a late date would likely mean cancelling the events altogether. At this point, it’s most unlikely that the United States and Canada would boycott Beijing. Instead, they will issue harsh criticism against China in the lead-up to the event. Such a boycott by one or more major Western countries would amount to a declaration of outright antagonism and total hostility; that there is no longer any room for compromise and cooperation between China and the West, or between China and the US. It’s worth remembering the Cold War precedents. In 1984, the Soviet Union said it would not send athletes to the Olympics in Los Angeles of that year because of concerns about their safety. But everyone knew it was a boycott in response to the US boycott of the 1980 games held in Moscow. A total of 13 other communist countries also declined to attend the Games. The US boycott in 1980 was to protest against the Russian invasion of Afghanistan launched the previous year. The Russians were turning the tables on the US in 1984. If the US or another other Western country does boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing would not see it as a criticism of its human rights records. Rather, it would consider it a shot across the bow announcing Cold War 2.0. And it would be right to think so.