Jersey Shore Congressman pushes to move 2022 Winter Olympics out of China
We're barely a week into the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo (moved a year due to pandemic to 2021) but there is continued push, as there has been this year, to move the 2022 Winter Olympic games out of China and somewhere else with timing increasingly running out for such a move to happen.
U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, who represents portions of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in Washington, is behind the push.
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The push all stems from the horrifying behavior taking place by government leaders in China where there's been over 1-million people of a Muslim minority being forced into "re-education camps", NJ Advance Media reported in May, to changed their beliefs and traditions.
Their report, on NJ.com, also pointed to what The Washington Post reported on in January of this year when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U.S. said China had committed genocide and crimes against humanity, and the way they've been treating these people for years and years and years.
Pompeo said in a statement obtained by The Washington Post, that the, “morally repugnant, wholesale policies, practices, and abuses are designed systematically to discriminate against and surveil ethnic [Uighurs] as a unique demographic and ethnic group, restrict their freedom to travel, emigrate, and attend schools, and deny other basic human rights of assembly, speech, and worship."
Congressman Chris Smith and others, on both sides of the aisle in Washington, have been making a push to move the Olympics for some time with debate mixed in on items such as the U.S.A. team consider boycotting the games, the notion of which was knocked down by U.S. Olympic Committee and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in May, according to NJ Advance Media.
Now, Smith is requesting sponsors withdraw their names from the games in Beijing, which has been called the “Genocide Olympics", and just to have the Olympics in another country "due to the ongoing genocide and other egregious human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)."
At a bicameral, bipartisan congressional hearing on Tuesday, Smith urged and then questioned why certain companies such as Coca-Cola, Visa, Airbnb, Intel and Procter & Gamble won't consider bowing out.
The quotes have been passed along by Congressman Smith's office following the hearing and via the video of the hearing sent along as well.
"Knowing what we know now about the Beijing ‘Genocide Olympics,’ should the Games be moved to another country and city?” Smith, who is the Ranking Member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), said.
Smith and his office explained that the corporate representatives dodged the questions instead of providing a 'yes' or 'no' answer to his line of questioning starting with Coca-Cola representative, Paul Lalli, who said, “We don’t have a position on if [the Games are] going to be moved or delayed. We will follow these athletes wherever they compete.”
Congressman Smith: “If the athletes go to Pyongyang in North Korea, is that okay too?”
Visa’s representative Andrea Fairchild was also questioned by Congressman Smith and said, “We have no responsibility in the site selection.”
Congressman Smith: “Unfortunately, for many American corporations, it is business as usual when it comes to China.”
Smith continued: "However, in China, we not only see genocide and concentration camps directed against Uyghurs and Kazaks in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in particular, but also the ongoing eradication of the culture of Tibet, the harvesting of organs of Falun Gong practitioners, the destruction of Christian churches, and the dismantling of freedom in Hong Kong.”
According to Smith's office, he has chaired 72 human rights abuse hearings in China over the years and in October of 2018 teamed with Florida Senator Marco Rubio in penning a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, where they asked the IOC “to review and ultimately reassign the location of the 2022 Winter Olympics given credible reporting of the mass, arbitrary internment of one million or more Uyghurs or other Muslim ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and other ongoing human rights abuses by the Chinese government.”
“To now have major U.S. companies all affirming the decision to hold the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing is aiding the abetting the crowning of a barbarous regime with laurels while we should be condemning their abuse and genocide,” Smith said in a statement.
The Jersey Shore Congressman has been make this push for some time, as he also co-chairs the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and earlier in 2021 chaired a hearing entitled “China, Genocide and the Olympics,” and in Smith called for a change in venue for the Games or a total boycott all-together.
Smith is hoping changes are made and soon, including moving the location of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
“To help clarify, what we are talking about are State crimes up to and including genocide–a determination made by two secretaries of State in succeeding Administration: one Republican, one Democrat. The CCP is seeking to use the Olympics as a platform to tout its alternative vision of global governance, and President Xi Jinping—the man who pushed the IOC in 2015 to award China as the venue for the 2022 Games—is the same man who, at about the same time, planned and now continues committing genocide and crimes against humanity," Smith said.
Smith's office said that he "has been banned from China over the years and is the only House member to have been targeted with sanctions by the Chinese government."