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Why Xi Jinping might pull off the Winter Olympics

The Beijing Winter Olympics kick off this week against the backdrop of an ongoing pandemic, volatile geopolitics, and diplomatic boycotts over China’s human rights record. But Beijing is still going for gold.

Some anticipate that these dynamics will render the Games — a platform for flexing global soft power — a failure. But there are compelling reasons to believe China’s President Xi Jinping could pull off the massive sporting event successfully, thereby boosting Beijing’s diplomatic bonafides and proving naysayers wrong.

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Inside Beijing's Struggle to Keep the Olympics COVID Free | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Beijing's struggle to keep the Olympics COVID free

COVID-19 positive cases leading up to the Beijing Olympics, a proposed defense pact between Ukraine, Poland, and the UK, and the Joe Rogan/Spotify scandal -- Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

First, how is COVID-19 affecting Beijing Olympics prep in China?

Well, we've got already well over a hundred members of Olympic athletes and staff that have tested positive twice, which means they ain't playing. They're not involved. They're going to go home. And these numbers are going to go way up. I do think that this idea of a complete closed loop system, the Chinese have more ability to implement and execute on that than pretty much any country in the world. So I doubt you're going to see spread from the Olympics into the broader population, but you're going to see a lot of people with COVID coming in because omicron is so incredibly spreadable. And that's going to be yet one more thing that dings a very weird Beijing Olympics with diplomatic boycotts and populations unhappy about where we are and not having fans and all the political challenges and censorship and surveillance of phones and data going to the government. And it's just so politicized that you hate to see that with global athletes, and global athletics, but that's where we are. I do say that I'm glad that the athletes are still competing. It's one of the few things that can bring us all together on this planet.

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