House Speaker Pelosi Warns US Olympians Against Angering 'Ruthless' Chinese Government During Games
04:12 GMT 04.02.2022 (Updated: 13:28 GMT 06.08.2022)
The US, Canada, and Australia have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, marking an escalation of the US-led pressure campaign against the Chinese government regarding allegations of human rights abuses against Muslim minorities in China's northwestern province of Xinjiang.
While speaking at a Thursday Congressional-Executive Commission hearing on China, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged athletes to avoid speaking out against Beijing while participating in the winter games.
"Do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless," the House Speaker stated.
Pelosi railed against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during her Thursday speech, proclaiming that the organization "turns a blind eye to Beijing's alleged human rights violations."
She also claimed that lawmakers in Washington had an "urgent moral duty to shine a bright light" on the Chinese government's wrongdoings amid the winter games.
"If we do not speak out against human rights violations in China, because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out against human rights violations anywhere," Pelosi said.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) also took aim at the IOC, as well as its corporate sponsors.
"If given a choice, I believe no athlete would want to compete in a country committing genocide and crimes against humanity. But that is what they are forced to do because of the feckless IOC and its corporate sponsors," said McGovern, who heads the committee.
28 January 2022, 01:15 GMT
China has repeatedly rejected accusations about its treatment of Muslim Uighurs living in Xinjiang after claims of its reeducation camps first emerged in 2018. In the years since, the matter has become a major international issue for US and its allies, with the Biden administration earlier accusing China of committing genocide and opting to impose sanctions against Chinese officials.