US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for a diplomatic boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics citing the human rights violation by Chinese government. In a a joint video hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Pelosi said, “We cannot proceed as if nothing is wrong about the Olympics going to China.”
Pelosi further said that global leaders who attend the event would lose their moral authority. Pelosi said world leaders should not attend the competition because “of a genocide that is ongoing while you’re sitting there in your seats.” China has been accused of atrocities against the Uyghur Muslim community especially in the Xinjiang region.
Pelosi also hit out on the corporate sponsors of the Olympics whom she accused of “looking the other way” on China’s human rights abuse “out of concern for their bottom line”.
Republican congressman Chris Smith, who was co-chairing the committee meeting called upon the US and other countries should boycott the games unless the International Olympic Committee finds a new host city. “In granting Beijing host status for the Olympic Games, we are crowning a barbarous regime with laurels while we should be condemning their abuse and genocide,” Rep Smith said.
Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern said the games should be relocated.”If we can postpone an Olympics by a year for a pandemic, we can surely postpone the Olympics for a year for a genocide,” he said.
Atrocities on Uyghur Muslims in China
The US Department of State had estimated that up to two million Uyghurs as well as members of other Muslim minority community have been detained across intermittent camps in the region. A report by CNN states that camp detainees face food and sleep deprivation and forced injections. Further, some Uyghur women were forced to use birth control and undergo forced sterilisation as a part of deliberate attempt to bring down population of the minority.
China, however, has denied the atrocities and human rights abuse. It claims that these steps are important to curb religious extremism and terrorism in an area which is home to about 11 million Uyghurs.
The Beijing games are scheduled to begin from 4th February 2022. The Tokyo Summer olympics scheduled for later this year were postponed in wake of Chinese coronavirus pandemic.