Hearing mulls 2022 Winter Olympic boycott over China human rights record
A congressional panel, during a May 18 hearing, weighed the possibility of a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing to call attention to China’s long-standing human rights abuses.
“If we can delay an Olympics for a year because of a pandemic, surely we can delay the Olympics for a year because of a genocide,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, which sponsored the hearing along with the and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
No panelist, or member of Congress, suggested during the hearing that Olympians be barred from competing, but that participating countries send only their athletes — but no diplomatic delegation that could lend legitimacy to the Games.
“Big business wants to make lots of money, and it doesn’t seem to matter what cruelty — even genocide — that the host nation commits,” said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., the Lantos commission’s other co-chair. Smith said he would invite U.S.-based Winter Olympics sponsors to testify at a future hearing. U.S. sponsors to date are Snickers, Airbnb, Coca-Cola, Dow, General Electric, Intel, Procter & Gamble and Visa.