Nancy Pelosi calls US, world leaders to boycott 2022 Beijing Olympics, criticizes China for human rights abuses

United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Patricia Pelosi has called for a US diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, criticizing China for human rights abuses.

Pelosi is an American politician serving as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives since 2019, and previously from 2007 to 2011. She has served as a US representative from California since 1987.

The US lawmakers have been increasingly vocal about an Olympic boycott or venue change, and have lashed out at American corporations, arguing their silence about what the State Department has deemed a genocide of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China was abetting the Chinese government.

Pelosi, a Democrat, told a bipartisan congressional hearing on the issue that heads of state around the world should shun the games, scheduled for February.

“What I propose – and join those who are proposing – is a diplomatic boycott,” Pelosi was quoted in a report by international news agency Reuters, as saying, in which “lead countries of the world withhold their attendance at the Olympics.”

“Let’s not honor the Chinese government by having heads of state go to China,” she added. “For heads of state to go to China in light of a genocide that is ongoing – while you’re sitting there in your seat – really begs the question, what moral authority do you have to speak again about human rights any place in the world?” she said, according to the report.

An independent United Nations panel said in 2018 it had received credible reports that at least 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslims had been held in camps in China’s Xinjiang region. Beijing describes them as vocational training centers to stamp out extremism, and strongly rejects accusations of abuse and genocide.

Quoting Chinese Embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu, the report said that US attempts to interfere in China’s domestic affairs over the Olympics were doomed to fail.

“I wonder what makes some U.S. politicians think they actually have the so-called ‘moral authority’? On human rights issues, they are in no position, either historically or currently, to make wanton groundless criticism against China,” Liu was quoted as saying.

Pertinently, a study conducted by United Kingdom’s Sheffield Hallam University said Chinese “labour transfers” in the northwest Xinjian region, where the Chinese government has been accused of committing genocide, is deployed in “an environment of unprecedented coercion, undergirded by the constant threat of re-education and internment”.


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