December 3, 2021, 23:13

House lawmakers push for diplomatic boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in China

House lawmakers push for diplomatic boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in China

The proposed amendment to the annual State Department funding bill, under consideration by the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, comes from Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., and is cosponsored by Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey.

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Will Oliver/EPA via ShutterstockRep. Michael Waltz addresses Cuban-Americans demonstrators to support the protesters in Cuba outside the White House, July 26, 2021.

The Florida Republican was one of the first lawmakers to call for a full boycott of the upcoming winter games, something the Biden administration initially said it would consider in April before backing away from the prospect, according to CNBC.

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Earlier this month, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the U.S. is “closely consulting with allies and partners” and the business community over a “common approach” to the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

Tingshu Wang/ReutersA man walks past a board with a sign of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at an exhibition hall during an organized media tour to venues of the Games in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, China, July 14, 2021.

“When this administration and the last administration have both said officially and unofficially that there’s an ongoing genocide (in China), I can’t imagine that we would send a delegation at all,” he told ABC News, noting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also endorsed a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 games, and other Democrats had proposed boycotting the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing.

Waltz also plans to introduce a similar measure to add to the annual defense policy bill that would cancel the Pentagon’s contracts with any American companies sponsoring the upcoming winter games.

The Senate in June approved a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming winter games as part of a sweeping China policy bill that passed with bipartisan support.

“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,” Malinowski said in a statement in June. “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.”

U.S. lawmakers have also called on the International Olympic Committee to postpone and relocate the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics over China’s alleged human rights abuses.

Up to 3 million Turkic Muslims are, or have been, detained in facilities in China, according to the U.S. State Department and human rights activists. The Chinese government does not deny the existence of these facilities, but instead says they are part of “anti-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts in Xinjiang in accordance with the law to protect people’s lives.”

A coalition of human rights organizations is also pressuring countries to fully boycott the upcoming winter games.

The United States last led a boycott of the Summer Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980 to protest the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Amendment to H.R. 4373 by ABC News Politics

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