Chinese dictator Xi Jinping risks spoiling his Olympic party by prosecuting Hong Kong pop star Denise Ho

Ho, a Canadian citizen, was freed from jail after being arrested in an attack on media freedom

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Cantopop singer, actor, and human rights activist Denise Ho is out of jail after being detained for more than 30 hours.

      Ho, a Canadian citizen, was one of seven people arrested in Hong Kong this week for being currently or formerly associated with the online media outlet Stand News.

      As Vancouver East NDP MP Jenny Kwan has pointed out, the arrests fly in the face of Article 27 of Hong Kong's Basic Law, which guarantees freedom of the press and freedom of speech.

      The arrests were also condemned by Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and the Conservative foreign-affairs critic, Michael Chong.

      Chong noted that the arrest of Ho violates the 1984 Sino-British treaty that led to the return of Hong Kong to Chinese control.

      Earlier this year, I referred to Chinese dictator Xi Jinping as the true "Trump of the East" (rather than Philippines strongman Rodrigo Duterte) because of Xi's growing list of public-policy failures.

      Xi has managed to turn the West against him by playing hostage diplomacy, ignoring international treaties, crushing dissent in Hong Kong, and likely committing crimes against humanity in Xinjiang against Uyghur Muslims.

      He's also alienated many of his neighbours in Central and East Asia.

      In addition, there's evidence that Xi is inflating China's economic-growth statistics even as he's dragging down the country's tech sector.

      Now, China is getting ready to host the Winter Olympics just as more than 200 national-security police were sent to shut down a media outlet.

      Is it any wonder that some are calling for a full Canadian boycott of the 2022 Games rather than Justin Trudeau's wishy-washy "diplomatic boycott"?

      Someone needs to remind Xi that Canada has a minority government. So even if Trudeau wants Canada to continue participating, there's nothing stopping a majority of MPs from other parties from endorsing a full boycott.

      Of course, that won't happen before a whole lot of polling is done to ensure that such a move won't blow up in the politicians' faces. But it's not completely out of the question, particularly in light of China's recent mistreatment of yet another Canadian citizen.

      If the U.S., the U.K., and Australia were to participate, it would stain Xi's reputation on the world stage. 

      Let's not kid ourselves. The Winter Games are not nearly as important as the Summer Olympics in terms of television revenue and international appeal. The TV networks would survive a full boycott. And the world certainly wouldn't come to an end, particularly in the midst of a pandemic.