Gallagher, Malinowski Lead International Effort to Change Locations for 2022 Beijing Olympics
June 7, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Michael McCaul (R-TX) today introduced a resolution urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to move the 2022 Winter Games unless the Chinese government ends its ongoing crimes against the Uyghur people. Legislators in nine other countries — United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Lithuania, Italy, Czech Republic — and the EU Parliament took similar action today in a coordinated international effort to address the challenge posed by the IOC’s decision to hold the Olympics in a country where a genocide is taking place.
The resolution introduced today in the US Congress urges the IOC to:
- Publicly clarify its policies on association of the games with gross human rights violations, including by affirming that “staying above politics” doesn’t mean ignoring mass atrocities;
- Initiate an emergency search process for alternative replacement facilities for the 2022 games should persecution of the Uyghurs and other grave abuses continue; and
- Offer a public set of actionable recourses should the IOC note infringements on the freedom of expression during Olympics games.
The text of the resolution can be found HERE. Additional Members joining the resolution include Representatives Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and Young Kim (R-CA).
"Authoritarian regimes have a long and troubling history of using the Olympics to whitewash their crimes and disseminate propaganda on a global scale. Given the ongoing genocide in Xinjiang, it is unconscionable that the free world would proceed with the 2022 games with business as usual," said Rep. Gallagher. "I am proud to stand with my colleagues in the U.S. and across the free world in pushing for action that respects the Chinese Communist Party's millions of victims, as well as the right to free expression of athletes and media worldwide."
“There’s no such thing as non-political games—dictatorships like China host the Olympics to validate their standing as normal and respected countries even as they continue to commit crimes against their people,” said Foreign Affairs Committee Vice Chair Malinowski. “Today’s coordinated action by legislators in multiple democracies is a clear signal to the International Olympic Committee that we’re fed up with its silence about China’s ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs."
“In the face of genocide, Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China are looking to the world for support. By turning a blind eye to the PRC’s gross human rights violations in Xinjiang, the IOC is betraying its own charter and legitimizing the PRC’s actions at a time when the international community should be lock-step in condemnation,” said Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Meeks.
“The CCP’s genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities is the moral test of our time. By granting the CCP an opportunity to cover up its atrocities and improve its image on the global stage, the IOC is violating its own principles and tarnishing its own brand. I’m proud to stand with Members on both sides of aisle, alongside allies from other democratic countries, in holding the IOC and CCP accountable,” said Foreign Affairs Ranking Member McCaul.
Rep. Gallagher first called for the IOC to rebid the 2022 Winter Olympics in December of 2019.