UN Secretary-General Betrays Human Rights by Attending Beijing Olympics

December 21, 2021 Updated: December 27, 2021


China is the world’s most vicious tyranny. But for all its wrongdoing, the country faces virtually no accountability. To the contrary, China is treated as a respected member of the international community, even granted the honor of hosting the Winter Olympics, which start on Feb. 4, 2022.

How can this be? One would think nations that claim the mantle of human rights champions would protest the ongoing atrocities in China by refusing to participate in the Winter Games. Yes, it would thwart the dreams of athletes. But that would be the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) fault for selecting China as host, not wrongdoing by a righteously disgusted world community.

And what an excellent example of soft power a boycott would provide. Refusing to attend the Olympics would be a bloodless—but sharp and salutary message—that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal ways are beyond the pale.

But no. The international community can’t even manage that symbolic protest. The best the United States could do was declare a “diplomatic boycott”—which merely means that we won’t be sending Vice President Kamala Harris to Beijing to cheer on our athletes. I am sure the CCP’s Politburo is shedding bitter tears.

The United Kingdom and Australia followed America’s limp lead. But even that weak tea is too strong for the EU, which—while threatening to punish Poland, Hungary, and Romania for refusing to recognize same-sex marriage—barely wrings its collective hands about the bloody tyrannical policies China inflicts on its religious and ethnic minorities. They wouldn’t want to offend their trade overlords, don’t you know.

Most infuriatingly, António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations—who continually lectures the world on the need for following international human rights norms—happily accepted the IOC’s invitation to attend the Beijing Games.

Make no mistake: The head of the United Nations attending the Olympics validates China. Yet, this is the same man who bitterly criticized temporary travel restrictions from Africa announced by several countries to prevent the spread of the Omicron COVID variant. Good grief, how misplaced can his priorities get?

Such cowardice extracts a terrible toll against human rights and the rule of law. Consider the depth of evil engaged in by China that don’t even rate a symbolic “stay-at-home” from Guterres and the leaders of most of the 90 countries participating in the Winter Games:

  • The genocide of Uyghur Muslims, which involves the mass imprisonment of innocent people in reeducation camps, forced sterilization of their women, involuntary abortion, removal of children from homes into indoctrination schools, involuntary dispersion of Uyghurs around the country as chattel slaves, and other mass means of forced labor.
  • The horrific pogrom against Falun Gong and Uyghur political prisoners, who are blood sampled and tissue typed upon imprisonment so they can be exploited like so many organ farms in China’s thriving market in vital organs.
  • The suppression and persecution of Christians, whose only crime is to worship the Lord instead of the State. Under the country’s “Sinicize religion” policy, houses of worship are required to uphold CCP dictates, including keeping children from any exposure to religion. As reported by Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, pastors are required to preach from the values promoted by the CCP instead of the faith, parishioners are scanned with facial recognition programs, churches are being blown up. Leaders who don’t comply with government diktats may be imprisoned indefinitely in “black jails”—isolated, uncharged, and denied due process of law. The Bible is even being rewritten and edited to reflect the values promoted by the State.
  • The dystopian “social credit” system, in which facial recognition technologies, artificial intelligence, GPS, and other means of high-tech surveillance track individual behaviors and social associations, and punish those who are deemed at variance with Chinese values with loss of jobs and other means of social ex-communication. A new smartphone app is being introduced to encourage the Chinese people to report on each other’s “mistaken opinions” about the country’s socialist system.
  • The illegal occupation of Tibet for decades and the regime’s active cultural genocide against Buddhism there—including, it was just reported, forcing Tibetan children out of their own homes into boarding schools where they are indoctrinated in communist ideology.
  • Acts of aggression including the destruction of democracy in Hong Kong, in violation of treaty commitments; the threats of war with Taiwan; the thievery of intellectual property around the world; the construction of illegal artificial islands in the South China Sea to expand the regime’s military reach. It also acts as a thuggish loan shark in destitute countries, allowing Chinese businesses to take over ports and other infrastructure when loans can’t be repaid.
  • The plan, in the face of the U.N.’s insistence that the world unite to combat climate change, for China to increase its coal generation of electricity by 9 percent this year. Talk about a poke in the international community’s eye!
  • And let us not forget the COVID-19 catastrophe that has killed more than 5 million people around the world and cost trillions of dollars. There is no question that the plague began in China, but in violation of every public health ethical standard, the country’s leaders refuse to allow a true investigation into the plague’s causes or how it became pandemic.

Considering these sundry injustices and crimes against humanity—and more that could be listed—at what point does conducting business as usual with the tyranny become complicity in its actions? Granting China the respectability of hosting the Olympics—and most particularly, the attendance by the U.N. secretary-general and diplomats from most countries—surely crosses that line. What a travesty.

Worse, the international community’s moral abdication is dangerous. Our impotence will embolden China’s leaders into contemplating even greater violations of international norms in the years to come. If we maintain the same feckless approach, China may soon become uncontainable.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Award-winning author Wesley J. Smith is host of the Humanize Podcast (Humanize.today), chairman of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism and a consultant to the Patients Rights Council. His latest book is “Culture of Death: The Age of ‘Do Harm’ Medicine.”