A move is on in the U.S. Senate to move the Olympics out of Communist China. The action comes after a string of blunders by China, including handling of the Covid pandemic but also the country being officially listed as involved in genocide.
In 2015 Beijing was chosen to host the 2022 Games. When China last hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008, many criticized the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to allow China to host the worldwide event, given its severe human rights violations.
Now, six other Republican senators have introduced a resolution calling on the IOC to move the 2022 Winter Olympics out of China over those human rights abuses.
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), a member of the group, joined in drafting a resolution (S.Res.13) that states if China does not demonstrate “significant progress in securing fundamental human rights, including the freedoms of religion, speech, movement, association, and assembly,” the IOC should rebid the 2022 Winter Olympics and let the Games “be hosted by a country that recognizes and respects human rights.”
“Communist China is committing genocide against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, restricting the human rights of Hongkongers, and threatening Taiwan. Communist China should not be allowed to host the 2022 Olympic Games while simultaneously running concentration camps, violating human rights, and systematically oppressing the people of Hong Kong,” Scott stated in a Feb. 2 press release from his office.
Communist China has detained more than one million ethnic Muslims, including Uyghurs, Kazakh, and Kyrgyz people, in concentration camps in China’s far-western Xinjiang region. Beijing claims these camps are “vocational training centers.”
China is also in the midst of a country-wide crackdown on Christian believers with thousands of churches being destroyed, pastors and congregants imprisoned and even homes of Christians laid waste.
Last month, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated the Chinese regime’s persecution of Uyghurs and other majority-Muslim ethnic minorities as genocide and “crimes against humanity.”
The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), a group of international lawmakers, on Feb. 2 issued a statement, calling for an international legal investigation into human rights violations in Xinjiang, in response to a BBC report of Chinese men engaging in mass rape, sexual abuse, and torture against women in Xinjiang internment camps.
“The time for mere words has long passed. We must now move towards a coordinated effort to hold the Chinese government to account. These atrocities must be stopped,” IPAC stated.
Scott states that “The Olympic Games are an incredible opportunity to allow the world’s best athletes to represent their countries and unite our nations, and under no circumstance should be hosted by one of the world’s worst human rights abusers.
“I am proud to lead my colleagues to send a clear message to the IOC: stand up for freedom and urge Communist China to do the right thing, or find a new home for the 2022 Olympic Games.”
The resolution was sponsored by Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.). These lawmakers introduced a similar resolution in March last year.
So far, no Democrats have joined the effort.
–Dwight Widaman and wire services