Hong Kong: Amid growing calls to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, a group of politicians from Europe and North America launched coordinated legislative actions on Monday (June 7), calling for a diplomatic boycott of the games, citing the Chinese government’s “gross violations of human rights.”
This action is intended to put pressure on governments, elected officials, and heads of state to decline invitations to next year’s Olympics, according to the South China Morning Post.
“This coordinated effort by legislators in multiple democratic countries sends a message the IOC cannot ignore: if it can discuss postponing the Tokyo Games due to public health concerns, it can certainly postpone the China Games due to the mass incarceration of millions in concentration camps,” said Tom Malinowski, vice-chair of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, in a statement.
A coalition of human rights organisations called for a total boycott of the Winter Olympics last month, claiming that “participating in the games would be tantamount to endorsing China’s genocide against the Uyghur people.”
A coalition of Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kong residents, and others said in a joint statement that the Chinese government is committing genocide against the Uyghur people and waging an unprecedented campaign of repression in East Turkistan, Tibet, and Southern Mongolia, as well as an all-out assault on democracy in Hong Kong.
“Participating in the Beijing Olympic Games at this time would be tantamount to endorsing China’s genocide against the Uyghur people and legitimising the totalitarian Chinese regime’s increasingly repressive policies,” the coalition said in a statement.
The number of people calling for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics is growing all the time.
The US House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has also called for a “diplomatic boycott” of the Winter Olympics, which are set to take place in Beijing next year, in response to China’s human rights violations against Uyghurs.
Speaking at a Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing last month, Pelosi advocated for the US to refrain from sending any official delegation to the Games while allowing athletes to compete in Beijing in 2022, according to The Hill.
China has been chastised around the world for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims, sending them to mass detention camps and subjecting members of the community to forcible re-education or indoctrination.
The United States was the first country in the world to declare Chinese actions in Xinjiang to be “genocide” earlier this year.
Both the Canadian and Dutch parliaments passed motions in February recognising the Uyghur crisis as genocide.
The latter became Europe’s first parliament to do so. The United Kingdom also declared China’s ongoing crackdown in Xinjiang to be “genocide” in April.