In light of the communist regime’s treatment of Chinese citizens, particularly Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Hong Kongers, lawmakers from ten countries and the European Union have proposed a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
The announcements from representatives from democratic countries—the United States, United Kingdom, European Parliament, Canada, and other EU members—supported by the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) declared that the world “does not condone and will not whitewash the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing crimes.”
On Monday, Rep. Tom Malinowski introduced a bipartisan resolution (pdf) in the United States Congress urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to “initiate an emergency search process for alternative replacement facilities for the 2022 games” (D-N.J.).
According to the resolution, over one million Uyghurs are believed to be imprisoned because of their race, language, or religion, in violation of the Olympic Charter, which states that sport is a “human right” that “shall be secured without discrimination of any kind.”
The Beijing Olympics in 2008 were “accompanied by widespread tracking, arrest, and intimidation of foreign journalists and bloggers, as well as restrictions on journalist movement,” according to the statement.
Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.), Young Kim (R-Calif.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), and Ann Wagner (D-Va.) joined the resolution (R-Mo.).
In the United Kingdom, an Early Days Motion submitted on June 7 by MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith states that “the International Olympic Committee’s desire to remain above politics does not permit turning a blind eye to mass atrocity crimes.”
The motion also asked the IOC to launch an “emergency search process” for an alternative facility, which was supported by Labor Party Siobhain McDonagh and Liberal Democrats Alistair Carmichael, Layla Moran, and Wea Hobhouse.
China’s treatment of the Uyghur people sparked debate in the European Parliament about whether the Chinese regime is still qualified to host the Winter Olympics next year.
In a formal question, Engin Eroglu, a member of the European Parliament (MEP), asked, “Has the Council had conversations with the IOC about what minimum human rights standards should be met for countries seeking to host the Olympics Games?”
The questions, which have yet to be answered, were co-signed by 20 cross-party MEPs, who called on the European Council to reconsider representatives and EU Member States accepting invitations to the Beijing Winter Olympics, as well as questioning EU firms acting as Games sponsors about the use of Uyghur forced labour.
Representatives from Canada, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, and other EU member countries announced legislative initiatives urging their respective countries to decline the invitation to the Beijing Olympics.
“China is in the midst of its darkest period for human rights since the Tiananmen Square massacre,” said Uffe Elbaek, a member of the Danish Parliament. It is critical that democracies seize every opportunity to speak out against human rights violations. ”
Meanwhile, lawmakers have become more vocal in their support for an Olympic boycott or venue change. During a congressional hearing on Monday, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken that a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics would be “insufficient when you put that side by side with a genocide going on concurrently with the Olympics.”
According to Blinken, “we are consulting closely with other countries… to ensure that we understand what the common concerns are, and ideally to establish a shared approach.”