GOP Lawmakers Urge US to Boycott 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

February 25, 2021 Updated: February 25, 2021

A group of Republican congressmen has jointly introduced a resolution calling on the United States to lead an international boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics unless it’s moved to another country, due to the extensive human rights abuses committed by the Chinese regime.

The resolution, introduced by Reps. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), and Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), the ranking Republican for the House Committee on Homeland Security, also urges the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to rebid the Beijing Games.

“As the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] commits genocide against Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang, the United States, the International Olympic Committee, and nations throughout the world have a responsibility to hold China accountable for its egregious human rights violations by moving the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing,” Reschenthaler said in a statement.

The State Department in January, under the Trump administration, determined that the CCP’s treatment of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region amounts to genocide and “crimes against humanity.”

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese flags on a road leading to a facility believed to be a reeducation camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, on the outskirts of Hotan in the Xinjiang region of China, on May 31, 2019. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

The move comes amid growing calls worldwide for the 2022 Games to be moved out of China. A group of Republican senators introduced a similar measure earlier this month, while the UK and Canadian governments have also faced pressure from some politicians.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has so far declined to comment on whether the United States would boycott the 2022 Games. However, he agreed with the genocide designation, stating that “forcing men, women, and children into concentration camps, trying to in effect reeducate them to be adherents to the Chinese Communist Party—all of that speaks to an effort to commit genocide.”

“Freedom-loving countries around the world must join together to condemn China’s behavior and show the CCP that the United States and the international community will not idly stand by while they commit atrocities against the Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, and other Chinese dissidents,” Reschenthaler said.

Waltz said in a statement that the resolution shows that the CCP is being held accountable for its “heinous acts,” including the “genocide in Xinjiang, crackdown on the democratic rights of Hong Kong, suppression of religious freedom, and coverup of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.”

“Since the IOC has refused to move the Games, we have no choice but to call for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing to send a clear message to the CCP that the world will not reward their atrocious and reckless behavior by giving them a prominent international platform,” he said.

In a previous statement to The Epoch Times, the IOC said its evaluation commission had “considered the views of independent NGOs with respect to  a number of  issues, including human rights” in selecting Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, and raised the concerns with government authorities.

Winter Olympics district
A journalist takes pictures of a display at the exhibition center for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Yaqing district in Beijing on Feb. 5, 2021. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

“We received assurances that the principles of the Olympic Charter will be respected in the context of the Games,” it said, adding that it would continue to discuss “Games-related issues” with the organizers.

Katko added that the United States “simply cannot in good faith” participate in an Olympic Games in a country that is committing genocide, and “continuously attempts to manipulate and lie to the global community about it.”

“For far too long, the Chinese Communist Party has become increasingly bold in its efforts to suppress its own people, weaponize their private sector for intelligence and military purposes, exploit the data of Americans, and manipulate global markets—posing distinct threats to our homeland security and the American way of life. It’s time they are held accountable,” Katko said in a statement.

“This time-honored contest amongst nations should take place in a deserving country that actually lives up to the values of the Olympic Charter, not one that blatantly undermines our foundational values.”

A coalition of more than 180 groups, including the International Tibet Network and World Uyghur Congress, signed a joint letter earlier this month urging governments to boycott the 2022 Games.

Cathy He contributed to this report.