Washington Post 14 April 2021
Noted East Asia scholar Perry Link once called China “the anaconda in the chandelier.” You wouldn’t knowingly let a snake into your home. Yet it got in. Or, rather, Procter & Gamble and other Olympic sponsors let it in. They unlocked your door and allowed it to crawl inside, and now you better check what’s coiled around your phone or that pair of shoes in your closet.
The thought of that snake freezes you, doesn’t it? Well, that’s the point. This is how China insidiously exports its tyranny. And it’s why the West should either pry the 2022 Winter Games away from Beijing or boycott.
The anaconda in the chandelier is the most apt description ever written of how Beijing’s leaders insinuate their power on others. The repressions are subtle at first. You make a small but compromised agreement in the name of commerce or diplomacy or Olympic “engagement” with China. Once in the room, you realize that massive, suffocating constrictor of a snake is coiled overhead, ready to choke the life out of you or your business if you offend. People consequently move very, very gingerly.