Posted onApril 25, 2021|Comments Off on Gatestone Institute: Growing Calls for Moving or Boycotting the Beijing Olympics
BEIJING, CHINA – APRIL 12: Vice President and Secretary-General of Beijing 2022 Han Zirong, center, and other senior staff raise glasses as they toast at an event held by the organizing committee of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics for international media at their headquarters at Shougang on April 12, 2021 in Beijing, China. The committee recently held test events at several venues ahead of the Winter Games set to open February 4, 2022. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
A growing number of Western lawmakers and human rights groups are calling for a boycott of the next Winter Olympics, set to take place in Beijing in February 2022.
The calls for a boycott have come in response to burgeoning evidence of human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, a remote autonomous region in northwestern China. Human rights experts say that at least one million Muslims are being detained in hundreds of internment camps, where they are subject to torture, mass rapes, forced labor and sterilizations.
Anger is also simmering over China’s political repression in Hong Kong, Tibet and Inner Mongolia; its increased intimidation of Taiwan; its threats to its other neighbors; as well as its continued lack of transparency over the origins of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in the deaths of more than three million people around the world, according Johns Hopkins University.
Boycott options include: 1) moving the Winter Olympics to another country; 2) an athletic boycott — prohibiting athletes from participating in the Games; 3) a diplomatic boycott — barring senior political representatives from travelling to Beijing to attend the opening ceremony; 4) an economic boycott — pressuring multinational corporations to cancel multi-million dollar Olympic sponsorship deals; or 5) a media boycott — limiting television coverage of the Games, thus depriving China of an important propaganda tool in the West.
Regardless of what transpires, China’s human rights record is sure to be the focus of increased scrutiny during the months leading up to the Games.
A conference at the Brussels Press Club on Monday heard arguments in favour of Beijing being stripped of the 2022 Winter Olympics because of its repression of its Uyghur Muslim minority in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, or for a boycott of the spectacle.
“I hope that all the EU countries could get together to decide to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics”, said Finnish Green MEP Alviina Alametsa.
She continued, “It is positive that the EU has condemned China’s human rights violations… we now have to choose what are the lines that China cannot cross without consequences, but to me the lines have already been passed.”
Co-founder and CEO of Hong Kong Watch, Benedict Rogers was in agreement, stating that “with regard to the Winter Olympics, either a boycott, or if we can put pressure on the IOC to think about moving the Olympics even at this late stage, my understanding is that some political groups in Canada have called for this, and have offered Canada as an alternative location, and there are a number of European countries of course that have the capability to host Winter Olympics.”
Senior parliamentarian Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the British Conservative party, who is leading the debate in his country’s parliament on the imposition of “Magnitsky” sanctions against the Chinese leadership, and who addressed the Brussels conference on that particular issue has also been vocal in calling for a boycott.