U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on May 18 called for a U.S. diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, criticizing China for human rights abuses and saying global leaders who attend would lose their moral authority.
“We cannot proceed as if nothing is wrong about the Olympics going to China,” Pelosi told Congress’ Human Rights Commission and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China during a hearing on the games.
U.S. lawmakers have been increasingly vocal about an Olympic boycott or venue change, and have lashed out at American corporations, arguing their silence about what the State Department has deemed a genocide of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China was abetting the Chinese government.
“For heads of state to go to China, in light of a genocide that is ongoing while you’re sitting there in your seats, really begs the question: What moral authority do you have to speak about human rights any place in the world if you’re willing to pay your respects to the Chinese government as they commit genocide?”
“If we don’t speak out against human rights violations in China for commercial reasons, we lose all moral authority to speak out for human rights anywhere,” Pelosi said.
“What I propose – and join those who are proposing – is a diplomatic boycott,” Pelosi said, in which “lead countries of the world withhold their attendance at the Olympics.”