Boycott Beijing: China commits genocide with one hand, hosts 2022 Olympics with the other

Boycott Beijing: China commits genocide with one hand, hosts 2022 Olympics with the other

The Olympics should not be a platform for an authoritarian regime to showcase itself while persuading the rest of the world to ignore genocide.

John Katko
Opinion contributor
 
 

Make no mistake. China is actively engaged in a systematic genocide including but not limited to forced labor, arbitrary imprisonment, torture and forced sterilization.

I called on President Joe Biden to boycott the Beijing 2022 Olympics in protest of the ongoing genocide being committed by the Chinese Communist Party. I did this for two reasons: One, it’s the right thing to do, and two, it’s incumbent upon the United States to shine light on what is happening in China and the CCP’s multifaceted and multidecade campaign to undermine our security and way of life.

I want to make clear that I want the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to be held. I want our athletes to compete in this honored tradition. The Games just cannot be held in China.

Right now, the CCP’s slow-motion genocide of up to 3 million Uyghurs, an ethnic minority population, is occurring within China’s own borders and it’s simply telling the world to look away. Nations and persons who speak out risk being sanctioned and maligned, as we have seen time and time again via Chinese state media

This total commitment to obscure the facts and compel the world to simply nod along in complicity is terrifying. It also appears to be working; in a February town hall, Biden himself parroted CCP talking points, acquiescing to Xi Jinping and his dictatorial approach to engaging with the world community.

A dominant and aggressive China

This tactic is an indication of a larger problem, as the free nations of the world increasingly grapple with a dominant and aggressive China. The Chinese Communist Party represents the greatest threat to the homeland and economic security of not only the United States but all democratic nations, for the next 50 years. Handing China the world stage for a contest that is supposed to be conducted for the good of all humanity to promote fellowship among nations will be nothing more than a soft power win for a regime that seeks to lie and manipulate the rest of the globe for its own benefit at the expense freedom, justice and human rights.

China’s concentration camps:I’ve fought China’s slow-motion genocide of Uighur Muslims. Now, my family are victims.

Indeed, the world has already been tainted by the evils of this genocide far beyond the borders of China.

Until a recent action was taken by the Department of Homeland Security, cotton picked by Uyghur forced labor originated from China into the global textile supply chain. Now, U.S. ports of entry will detain those shipments.

The logos for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics are seen at an exhibit at a visitors center at the Winter Olympic venues in Yanqing on the outskirts of Beijing, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. A small core of international lawyers and activists are prodding leading Olympic sponsors to acknowledge China's widely reported human-rights abuses against Muslim Uyghurs, Tibetans and other minorities. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
 

We have also seen the same types of surveillance and tracking technologies employed to enact a digital authoritarianism on the Uyghurs proliferate around the world via China’s “Safe Cities” initiatives.

Perhaps most alarmingly, however, is that we have seen our longtime ally Australia, which has boldly sounded the alarm on Chinese aggression to its domestic security on many fronts, viciously sanctioned and economically bullied as the CCP attempts to silence and isolate it from the world.

The world must respond 

Pressure is mounting on the president to step up and lead. National figures from Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to more than a dozen members of Congress, as well as international allies, including Dutch and Canadian lawmakers, have echoed the need to hold China accountable for its abhorrent human rights violations and ongoing acts of genocide.

USA TODAY Politics:2022 Winter Olympics without the USA? Push to boycott grows over China’s alleged human rights abuses

The Olympics should be about sporting tradition, fellowship and the furtherance of humanity in a unified manner. It should not be a platform for an authoritarian regime to showcase itself while persuading the rest of the world to turn a blind eye to the threat it presents.

Canada’s House of Commons and the Dutch Parliament have already stepped forward, and I applaud them for doing so. If genocide and the associated actions China has undertaken against millions of its own citizens are not sufficient for the world to universally act, then I don’t know what is.

Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., is the lead Republican on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security