A resolution presented on Wednesday by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and cosponsored by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), demands that the International Olympic Committee move the 2022 Olympics to a location other than China, citing the communist nation's egregious human rights abuses.
Bitter Winter reports:
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.
A number of senators offered support for the bill along with scathing comments directed toward the communist regime:
- Senator Rick Scott said, "Communist China should not be allowed to host the 2022 Olympic Games while simultaneously running concentration camps, violating human rights and oppressing the people of Hong Kong. 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. Today, the Senate is sending a clear message to the IOC: stand up for freedom and urge Communist China to do the right thing, or find a new home for the 2022 Olympic Games. It's not about politics, it's about human rights."
- Senator Ed Markey said, "China's human rights abuses and crackdown on democracy leave it well short of the Olympic Charter standard that calls for the preservation of human dignity and denounces discrimination of any kind. I stand in solidarity with those oppressed by the Communist Party of China and call for a rebid of the 2022 Games 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."
- Senator Jim Inhofe said, "The Chinese Communist Party continues to oppress the Chinese people—we've seen it blatantly in the Xinjiang "reeduction" camps as well as in Hong Kong. I see no reason to condone the Party's actions by allowing the 2022 Winter Olympics to take place in Beijing. I am proud to join Sen. Rick Scott in introducing this resolution calling on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics out of Communist China, and relocate the games to a country where the government respects the dignity and human rights of all people."
- Senator Dick Durbin said, "During the Olympics, the eyes of the world are on the country who hosts the Games. The IOC should reconsider its selection of China to host the 2022 Games due to the country's troubling lack of political freedom and horrific detention of at least one million Uighurs. The U.S. must send a message by standing up for freedom and the rule of law."
- Senator Martha McSally said, "The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) deprives its citizens every day of fundamental human rights and human dignity. It is unacceptable that a totalitarian regime with a clear record of oppression is slated to host the 2022 Olympic Games, which are meant to represent unity and peace. On behalf of the countless victims of the CCP, I implore the IOC to find a new host for these games."
- Senator Doug Jones said, "The international community shouldn't condone the reported human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese government and we certainly shouldn't reward them by holding the Olympics there in 2022. The IOC should take a stand and find a new host."
- Senator Marco Rubio said, "The Chinese government and Communist Party represses the basic freedoms of the Chinese people and commits horrific human rights abuses, including detaining over a million Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. No country should have the privilege and responsibility of hosting the Olympics or any other international sporting event while flagrantly violating their citizens' most fundamental rights. China should be no exception."
- Senator Tom Cotton said, "The Chinese Communist Party exploited the 2008 Summer Olympics as a propaganda event to glorify itself even as it cracked down harshly on dissenters. Beijing doesn't deserve another chance to put a happy face on a regime that relies on concentration camps and secret police to maintain control."
- Senator Todd Young said, "The People's Republic of China is a Communist state and it is outrageous to reward bad behavior by allowing them to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Currently in China, millions of Uighur Muslims are being held in secret re-education camps against their will, millions of babies have been aborted at the government's direction, and the police are using force to crack down on those in Hong Kong exercising their basic rights. In light of these and other ongoing abuses, the International Olympic Committee should abandon plans for the 2022 Games in China and seek out a new host country that respects and protects human rights"
- Senator Marsha Blackburn said, "We cannot trust China to execute the 2022 Olympic Winter Games while it is plagued with violent suppression of free speech and state-sponsored oppression. Last year, I led a bipartisan group of Senators in urging the International Olympic Committee to implement its new Host City Contract on January 1, 2020 so that China would have to comply with new requirements regarding human rights. Given that the IOC failed to do so, the IOC ought to rebid the next winter games to a country that respects human rights."
- Senator Mike Braun said, "The Chinese Communist Party cannot be trusted on human rights and it's wrong for them to host the 2022 Olympics."