U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Calls for ‘Diplomatic Boycott’ of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on May 18 called for a “diplomatic boycott” of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing due to the human rights abuses of the ethnic Uyghur minority.

“We cannot proceed as if nothing is wrong about the Olympics going to China,” Pelosi said at a bipartisan congressional hearing.

While Pelosi said that athletes should still be able to compete in the international games and that their performances was a source of pride, she said that global leaders should not attend the event in person as they would lose their “moral authority.”

“For heads of state to go to China, in light of a genocide that is ongoing while you’re sitting there in your seats, really begs the question: What moral authority do you have to speak about human rights any place in the world if you’re willing to pay your respects to the Chinese government as they commit genocide?” Pelosi further said.

Pelosi also criticized corporate sponsors of the games, saying they “look the other way on China’s abuses out of concern for their bottom line.”

However, Pelosi also acknowledged that the boycott may not work “because we have not succeeded in the past.”

Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington said in response to Pelosi’s remarks that American politicians were “in no position, either historically or currently, to make wanton groundless criticism against China.”

According to reports, at least one million Uyghurs have been held in camps in the western Xinjiang region, where they are allegedly tortured and forced to do labor.

China has denied the claims, saying they were “re-education camps” to combat extremism.

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