Bitter Winter: No 2022 Olympics in China, say US Senators

No 2022 Olympics in China, say US Senators
A bipartisan resolution asks to move the games to another country, since China has “committed crimes against humanity”
by Marco Respinti

The Winter Olympics Games should not be held in China in 2022. There is no reason for the world to support the regime led by the CCP by giving it more opportunities for business and propaganda.

This is what a bipartisan group of US senators is now requesting from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), citing the miserable human rights record of China. In a resolution presented on March 4 by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and cosponsored by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), which draws on data by the US State Department, the group of senators cites the staggering fate of what they indicated as “more than 1 million” ethnic Muslims, including Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and Kyrgyz, detained in as many as 1,200 “vocational training centers.” These are the transformation through education camps that Bitter Winter has constantly documented as being in in fact jails, where people are brutally tortured.

But, as Bitter Winter has often mentioned, based on the most accurate statistics by independent researchers, the figure of Uyghur Muslims detained in those camps is now up to 3 million, to which thousands of other Turkic Muslims of other ethnicities should be added.

There is more than that, obviously. The CCP regime persecutes minorities and all religions, ranging from Protestants and dissident Catholics to Buddhists and Taoists, from Jews to believers in Chinese traditional folk religions, with many new religious movements being especially targeted, from Falun Gong to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, from the Shouters to the Association of Disciples, and The Church of the Almighty God, which is today the single most severely persecuted religious movement in China. And in fact the US senators’ resolution does underline that “the Government of the People’s Republic of China subjects Christians and members of other religious groups to forced labor in brick kilns, food processing centers, and factories as part of detention for the purpose of ideological indoctrination,” and acknowledges that, “forced organ harvesting has been carried out for years throughout the People’s Republic of China on a significant scale, and practitioners of Falun Gong have been the main source of organs,” to conclude that, “the Government of the People’s Republic of China has committed crimes against humanity with respect to Uyghur individuals and practitioners of Falun Gong.”

All this considered, how can such a joyful event as the Olympics, celebrating peace and friendship among nations and peoples of the world, be held in a despotic country, which torments its own citizens?

The illiberal CCP regime gives no guarantee of respect of human dignity, and even public safety. We know that the world can’t trust it. The regime constantly sustains itself through propaganda, fake news, and the manipulation of truth. The world can’t rely on what this regime says, and we can’t take for granted any single piece of official news coming out of China. Human rights activists and NGOs know that all too well since decades, but the general international public has suddenly realized this now. The world still doesn’t know the whole truth about the spreading of coronavirus and, as Bitter Winter documents daily, the CCP regime is rather using the virus threat as an excuse to crack down harder on religious groups, dissidents, and ethnic minorities. There is no stop on the cynic march of the regime treading on its own people. Why then should the world give the Olympics to such a despotic government?

Repeatedly, persecuted minorities, dissidents, churches, religious groups, and common Chinese citizens have called for an international reaction to the ghastly CCP misdeeds. Mostly, their calls have gone unanswered. A few important moves at international levels have, however, been taken since 2018. The call of the US Senators to IOC is an important one: it is the official recognition that the CCP regime is guilty of crimes against humanity. The IOC should act now in the direction indicated by the US senators, and all free countries of the world as well as international organizations should support them.

Bipartisan bill urges Olympic committee to move 2022 winter games out of China

Bipartisan bill urges Olympic committee to move 2022 winter games out of China

A bipartisan group of senators is calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to move the 2022 Winter Olympics out of China, citing humanitarian rights violations committed by Beijing against Hong Kong protesters and the detainment of more than 1 million ethnic Muslims.

Led by Sen. Rick Scott, Floridan Republican, the members unveiled legislation that urges the IOC to rebid the next winter games to a country “that recognizes and respects human rights.”

“The Olympic Games are an incredible opportunity to allow the world’s best athletes to represent their countries and unite our nations, and should not be hosted by one of the world’s worst human rights abusers,” Mr. Scott, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement Tuesday.

Sen. Ed Markey, Massachusetts Democrat and co-sponsor of the resolution, called for a rebid of the winter sporting event “unless Beijing changes course and addresses its violations of fundamental rights.”

“The International Olympic Committee need not wait until 2024 to place stronger emphasis on human rights,” he said.

In the resolution, the senators cited data compiled by the State Department that shows more than 1 million ethnic Muslims, including Uyghur, ethnic Kazakh, and Kyrgyz individuals, have been detained in as many as 1,200 ”vocational training centers” designed to erase ethnic and religious identities.

They also pointed to a 2019 Freedom House report that showed women, ethnic and religious minorities, and the LGBT community in China “have no opportunity to gain meaningful political representation and are barred from advancing their interests outside the formal structures of the Communist Party of China.”

Republican Sen. James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he sees “no reason to condone the Party’s actions by allowing the 2022 Winter Olympics to take place in Beijing,” and called on the IOC to “relocate the games to a country where the government respects the dignity and human rights of all people.”

Is a 2022 Olympic boycott over China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims a possibility?

I’m a big track fan, which is why one of my all-time favorite sports memories is watching from a nose-bleed seat at the Los Angeles Coliseum as Britain’s Sebastian Coe won the 1984 men’s 1,500-meter Olympic finals. But I also recall my excitement being dampened just a tad by knowing that Coe’s win was diminished by the absence that day of world-class Soviet bloc runners.

You’ll remember that President Jimmy Carter had pulled the United States out of the 1980 Moscow Olympics to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (sadly, almost 40 years later Afghanistan remains an open-ended U.S. foreign policy concern). More than 60 other nations joined the U.S.-led boycott.

As payback, the USSR pulled its athletes out of the following Summer Olympics, the Los Angeles games. More than a dozen other communist nations joined that boycott, hence the absence of many quality athletes and, in my mind, the need for an asterisk next to Coe’ name. (Ironically, Coe also won the 1,500 meters in 1980, which probably warrants a second asterisk.)

Jump forward to the present, which finds the U.S. and Russia, the rotting core of the old USSR, still at odds. But unlike the 1980s, China — then just a hint of the economic powerhouse it would become — is arguably as bad an actor today and at least equally as problematic for the U.S.

Guess what? The 2022 Winter Olympics is scheduled for China.

Given how horribly Beijing has persecuted its Muslim Uighur minority (plus the Tibetan Buddhists, underground Christian churches, and others, including ordinary citizens who disagree to any degree with the government’s heavy-handed policies), might another boycott of Olympic proportions be due?


ICIJ: Politicians Push For Sanctions, Olympic TV Boycott After China Cables

Pressure continues to grow on the Chinese government over its treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, with European parliamentarians pushing for new sanctions and two senators in the United States urging a television boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

On Thursday, the European Parliament passed a resolution demanding that China shut down its mass internment camps in Xinjiang and called for Europe to impose sanctions and asset freezes against the Chinese officials responsible for them.

The measure, which cited the International Consortium of Investigative JournalistsChina Cables investigation, also called on European nations to expedite asylum requests from Uighurs and to strengthen export controls to stop all exports and technology transfers to China that could aid its sweeping surveillance programs.

The China Cables project revealed the secret operations manual for internment camps in Xinjiang that are holding hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities, as well as previously undisclosed Chinese intelligence briefings that showed the mechanics of the mass surveillance and detention system.

Separately, in the U.S. on Thursday, Republican senators Rick Scott and Josh Hawley reportedly wrote to television station NBCUniversal to urge the broadcaster to refuse to air the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will take place in Beijing.

According to Axios, the letter, sent to top NBC executives on Thursday, cited both Beijing’s “abysmal” human rights record and concerns about China Cables revelations of mass surveillance, and called on the station to “request that the [International Olympic Committee] re-bid the 2022 Olympics or refuse to air the 2022 games.”


Byline Times: China Must Not Be Allowed to Host the 2022 Olympic Games while it Persecutes its Uyghur Muslims

As early as 1922, Adolf Hitler signalled his desire to rid Germany and the European continent of the Jewish people, telling a journalist: “Once I really am in power, my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews”. Eleven years later, he and the Nazi Party seized control of the country, but the “Final Solution” – the mass extermination of the Jews – would not begin until the summer of 1941.

Exactly five years before the Einsatzgruppen began shooting Jewish women, children, and men – hastily digging ditches located well behind the lines of fighting between the Wehrmacht and Soviet forces during Operation Barbarossa – Nazi Germany hosted the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin.

Although the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the games to Germany in 1931 – two years prior to the Nazi Party putting an end to the Weimar Republic – Hitler’s evil intent was no secret when the world’s biggest sporting event got underway five years later. In fact, the official Nazi newspaper Volkischer Beobachter declared, in no uncertain terms, that Jews should not be allowed to participate.

When a number of countries threatened to boycott the games, Hitler gave assurances that Jewish and black athletes would be allowed to compete. A decade later, six million Jews would be slaughtered at the hands of Hitler’s Nazi thugs – illustrating just how shameful the 1936 Olympic Games are considered to be in the 120-year history of the event, held once every four years.


LATimes: Opinion: The U.S. should boycott Beijing’s 2022 Winter Olympics

Opinion: The U.S. should boycott Beijing’s 2022 Winter Olympics

The Chinese government has detained more than a million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in concentration camps in Xinjiang, China.
(Los Angeles Times)

By Michael Mazza
Nov. 29, 2019
3 AM

The evidence of abuses in the Chinese region of Xinjiang has been mounting over the past year. Testimony from former detainees, satellite imagery and publicly available local government documentation have all pointed to the building of concentration camps, the detention of a million or more Uighurs and other Muslim minorities and rampant abuses against the detained, including torture and sexual violence. Conditions outside the camps are not much better, with a security apparatus that is oppressive and omnipresent.

The recent leak of the Xinjiang Papers — more than 400 pages of internal Chinese government documents — provide proof that China’s leaders are directly responsible for the abuses in Xinjiang. President Xi Jinping undoubtedly set the direction for that policy, with disastrous consequences for China’s Muslims.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Xinjiang Papers showed China’s intent to “effectively erase” the Uighur people. These are strong words and raise the question of whether China’s leaders have genocidal intent. Some reported abuses in Xinjiang — including forced sterilizations and the separation of children from their families — could, indeed, constitute genocide.

The question is what to do about this. The State Department has worked to publicize the plight of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang and has placed visa restrictions on culpable individuals. The Commerce Department has issued a list of Chinese companies complicit in the abuses, barring Americans from doing business with them. The publication of the Xinjiang Papers should encourage the Treasury Department to impose sanctions on senior leaders, including Chen Quanguo, the Xinjiang party boss.

But more must be done. If the United States and other nations are to be successful in convincing China to moderate its policies in Xinjiang, they should target Xi directly. Fortunately, the international community has good leverage to use against him: Beijing will host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

The International Olympic Committee should revisit its decision to award the Games to Beijing in light of the overwhelming evidence of Chinese crimes against the people in Xinjiang. Unfortunately, the IOC has shown that it’s incapable of standing up for human rights. That means that the United States and other concerned countries must act.

The Trump administration, with congressional support, should begin working now to build an international coalition that will call on the IOC to move or cancel the Games unless China closes the camps and ends abuses in Xinjiang.

If the IOC refuses to play ball, which is likely, the coalition should be prepared to threaten a boycott of the 2022 Olympics and to hold parallel “Freedom Games” if Beijing does not rapidly alter course. If the Trump administration fails to act, Congress could call on the U.S. Olympic Committee to announce its own boycott. If the committee refuses, Congress should look into revoking its federal charter.

It would be nice to separate sports from politics, but China uses international sport to advance its political interests. Just as Hu Jintao employed the 2008 Summer Games to signal China’s “arrival” on the world stage, Xi will use the 2022 Games to signal to his own people that his “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” is well underway. The 2022 Olympics will be a grand propaganda spectacle in which participating countries will play supporting roles.

A cancellation, relocation or boycott of the Games would mark a significant international and domestic embarrassment for Xi. News of the reasons behind such a development would certainly make its way past China’s Great Firewall. Using the Olympics as leverage could be quite effective because doing so would challenge Xi’s leadership.

If the U.S. fails to find international partners, Washington should be prepared for a solitary boycott. To participate in the Beijing 2022 Games despite the atrocities being committed against the Uighurs would be to acquiesce to those abuses. By standing up for human rights principles, the U.S. could inspire others to follow our lead while showing abusers that, when it comes to defending human rights, America is no paper tiger.

Michael Mazza is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior non-resident fellow at the Global Taiwan Institute.


UHRP: The International Olympic Committee needs to tell Beijing: concentration camps disqualify you from hosting the 2022 Games

For immediate release
November 27, 2019 3:00 pm EST
Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project +1 (202) 478 1920

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) calls on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to seek an alternative location for the 2022 Winter Olympics in light of new information on the genocidal intent of China’s concentration camps for Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples.

The Olympic Charter lists as one of the movement’s goals “the preservation of human dignity.” Evidence of the Chinese government’s aim to wipe out the Uyghurs’ distinct ethno-religious identity is irrefutable and such policies would be an outrage in any country participating in the Olympic movement, much less the host country.

At the December 3-5 Executive Board Meeting in Lausanne, the IOC should declare China in violation of the Olympic Charter and inform Beijing further cooperation is not possible.

“The IOC cannot allow China to use the 2022 Olympics to ‘sportswash’ crimes against humanity. It is hard to find a more clear-cut case of a state in violation of the Olympic Charter. For the dignity of the participants and the victims of the concentration camps, a new venue for the Winter Olympics should be identified. The 1936 Games are a stain on the Olympic Movement. The 2022 Games cannot be allowed to follow suit,” said UHRP Executive Director, Omer Kanat.

Two recent leaks of official Chinese documents to the New York Times and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists provide evidence of the ideological origins, scale, and intention of the mass internment campaign in East Turkestan.

In October 2019, Dr. Kevin Carrico published a policy brief in conjunction with UHRP entitled ‘The 2022 Winter Olympics and Beijing’s Uyghur Policy: Sports in the Shadows of Concentration Camps.’ The brief calls for urgent international attention to this looming challenge for the international community and outlines actionable recommendations for the IOC, national Olympic committees and the general public.

In an October 22 op-ed, Dr. Carrico pointed out that in order to prevent the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) from “using the Games to legitimise itself, the international community needs to begin using the Games to pressure the CCP. This will require multiple layers of mobilisation, based in a broad consensus that concentration camps should have no place in the 21st century, or at the very least should not be rewarded with global mega-events.”

Take action:

Sign the “No Rights No Games” petition to urge the IOC to take urgent action to ensure the camps are closed ahead of the Olympics in 2022.

No Rights – No Games – Petition

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UHRP: The 2022 Winter Olympics and Beijing’s Uyghur Policy: Sports in the Shadows of Concentration Camps

For immediate release
October 21, 2019 5:20 pm EST

Contact: Dr. Kevin Carrico (Skype) kevinjcarrico (Email)

Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project +1 (202) 478 1920

In 2015, Beijing was awarded the rights to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. While the government of the People’s Republic of China has overseen preparations for the 2022 Games under the motto of “joyful rendezvous upon pure ice and snow,” the same state has also overseen the development of a network of concentration camps in East Turkestan (also known as Xinjiang).

In a case of blatant profiling, inmates are detained not due to any crime, but solely due to their ethno-religious identity. Guilt is presumed for anyone of Uyghur, Kazakh, or other Turkic backgrounds. Camp inmates have been held without trial and without a sentence: in effect, indefinite secret detention. In addition, reports are emerging of a growing number of Uyghurs being sentenced to 10 or more years in prison, often without trial.

The Olympic Charter lists as one of the movement’s goals “the preservation of human dignity.” Such policies of racial profiling and arbitrary detention would be an outrage in any country participating in the Olympic movement, much less the host country.

In a new policy brief written for the Uyghur Human Rights Project, Dr. Kevin Carrico, Senior Research Fellow at Monash University, calls for urgent international attention to this looming challenge for the international community.

Entitled The 2022 Winter Olympics and Beijing’s Uyghur Policy: Sports in the Shadows of Concentration Camps, it outlines the political implications of the Olympic Games for the Chinese Communist Party, Beijing’s open contravention of the principles contained in the Olympic Charter, and actionable recommendations to the international community.


The Diplomat: The Case for Boycotting Beijing 2022

The mass internment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang merits a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Commenting upon Beijing’s successful bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, International Ski Federation President Gian Franco Kasper quipped to a Swiss newspaper this past February that “everything is easier in dictatorships.”

Four years ago, China narrowly beat out Kazakhstan’s competing bid, and Beijing is now poised to become the first city in the world to have hosted both summer and winter Olympic Games.

But rather than allowing China to bask in Olympic fanfare, the internment of as many as 1 million ethnic Uyghurs in the western Xinjiang province has laid the groundwork for a boycott by elected leaders and athletes from the United States, and by other delegations.

If the Chinese capital was a hopeful débutante in the lead-up to its 2008 summer event, holding its head high despite complaints of media censorship, displaced Beijing residents, underage gymnasts, and air pollution, the 2022 event is likely to be billed as the glittering coronation of an ascendant and increasingly assertive China.

In 2014, on the basis of purchasing power parity, China regained its title as the world’s leading economy, a superlative it last held in 1890, and by 2016 it overtook the United States as the world’s largest manufacturer.

But in 2016, Chinese authorities commenced the forcible detention of thousands of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities, including entire families, into so-called “political education” centers, the beginnings of an authoritarian indoctrination campaign aimed at the repression of Uyghur language, identity, and religious expression.