Parliamentarians Call for Diplomatic Boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

By Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
November 18, 2021 Updated: November 18, 2021

A global alliance is calling on government officials to take a stand against human rights abuses by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by refusing to attend the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The campaign, #NoRightsNoShow is led by the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), an international cross-party alliance of parliamentarians from over 10 democratic nations. IPAC was created to hold the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to international legal and human rights standards and is calling for a full diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics scheduled to take place in February 2022. 

“The #Beijing2022 Winter Olympics will take place amidst widespread abuses in the Uyghur Region, Tibet and Hong Kong,” IPAC said on Twitter on Nov. 16.

“While sport is above politics, this cannot permit turning a blind eye to industrial-scale human rights abuses,” said another post on Nov. 15.

The co-chair of IPAC, Canadian Conservative MP Garnett Genuis, said he joined the campaign to stand in solidarity with Chinese people.

“Today I join elected officials from around the world and from a broad range of political traditions in calling for a full diplomatic boycott of the #Beijing2022 Olympics, in solidarity with the peoples of the PRC,” Genuis wrote on Twitter on Nov. 15.

Other notable officials who support the movement include UK Conservative MPs Iain Smith and Tim Loughton, the House of Lord’s David Alton, French Senator André Gattolin, French National Assembly Deputy and film producer Frédérique Dumas, and European Parliament Member Miriam Lexmann.

The CCP is notorious for using repressive policies against the Uyghur Muslims, including mass incarceration, torture, and birth control measures that have nearly halved the Uyghur birth rate between 2017 and 2019.

The regime also forces Uyghurs in Xinjiang into slave labour. A new report by UK’s Sheffield Hallam University found that more than 100 global retail brands could be at risk of “laundering cotton” on behalf of the CCP through their international supply chains after China expanded cotton manufacturing in the Xinjiang region in recent years.

Another report from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), a Belgium-based advocacy group, awarded China “a gold medal for repression” for showing little or no respect for international laws and standards when it “rapidly accelerated its political occupation of Hong Kong” using its new national security law, and suppresses Tibetans under the pretext of “anti-separatism,” “anti-extremism” and “counterterrorism.”

“How can the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its partners be sure that the Winter Olympics will not contribute to oppression and human rights violations and that athletes, their teams, journalists and others attending them are protected in a country ruled by this Party?” read the report released on Nov. 11.

In response to ITUC’s report, the IOC said their “only focus is sports and has no remit to act on the policies of a sovereign state.” Unlike any other sports business or organization, however, the IOC holds an observer seat at the United Nations.

Major corporate Olympic sponsors “remain silent over how they are using their influence to address China’s appalling human rights record,” the China director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), Sophie Richardson, said in a statement on Nov. 12.

The rights group has written letters to Olympic sponsors and also to NBC, the US-based media company whose licensing revenues constitute about 40 percent of all IOC income. 

Other major sponsors the group contacted include Airbnb, Alibaba, Atos, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Dow, General Electric, Intel, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, and Visa.

With files from The Associated Press

Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.