Pelosi Slams IOC for Turning Blind Eye to Beijing’s Genocide

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned the Chinese regime for its gross human rights violations on the eve of the opening ceremony for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. “If we do not speak out against human rights violations in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out against human rights violations anywhere,” Pelosi said. The remarks came during a Feb. 3 meeting of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), a bipartisan congressional body established in 2000 to report annually on developments concerning human rights and the rule of law in China. Pelosi and other lawmakers present at the meeting also accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of turning a blind eye to genocide and other human rights abuses committed by China’s ruling communist regime. “Now the IOC, aided by corporate sponsors, once again turns a blind eye with the 2022 Winter Olympics just to bolster their bottom line,” she said. Likewise, CECC Chair Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) referred to the IOC and its corporate sponsors as “feckless” for refusing to speak up because of fear of losing market share in China. CECC Co-chair Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said the companies supporting the IOC would need to find a new way of doing business. “The paradigm must change,” McGovern said. “These companies are going to need to figure out a way to make money other than reliance on forced labor and abetting crimes against humanity.” While Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has denied that it’s engaging in systematic human rights abuses, the IOC has consistently declined to take a stance on the regime’s rights abuses. For this reason, as well as the IOC’s alleged contracting of Chinese apparel companies with ties to forced labor, the global sporting body has drawn harsh criticism from U.S. lawmakers. Both Pelosi and Merkley said people throughout the world know better than to believe the CCP’s story and reiterated the U.S. stance that the regime is committing genocide against the Uyghur Muslim minority in China’s Xinjiang region. “The United States and the international community know the truth,” Pelosi said. “The People’s Republic of China is perpetrating a campaign of gross human rights violations, including genocide.” Merkley made comments echoing the House speaker’s position. “The story of [CCP] leadership is one of genocide, slave labor, forced sterilization, the desecration of democracy in Hong Kong, Orwellian repression in Xinjiang and Tibet, culling of critics at home and abroad, and suppression of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, civil society, and rule of law across the country,” he said. An ice machine prepares the surface for training sessions of short track Speed Skating teams at the Capital Indoor Stadium, ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing on Jan. 30, 2022. (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters) Warning to US Athletes Pelosi characterized the U.S. confrontation of Beijing’s human rights abuses as a “moral duty,” but warned U.S. athletes present at the Olympics to refrain from activities that could draw the attention of “ruthless” CCP officials. “Don’t for one moment believe anything the Chinese government might tell you about freedom of expression,” she said. “You take a risk [speaking out].” Pelosi’s comments come roughly a week after House Democrats unveiled their “China bill,” which was originally intended to promote U.S competition against China, but was later watered down to serve as a jobs measure, with several progressive objectives that include climate change funding and millions of dollars for diversity initiatives. She took a moment to promote the legislation, noting that it contained a provision that would prioritize refugees from Xinjiang who attempt to come to the United States. The ongoing oppression in Xinjiang, where Chinese authorities have forcibly committed sterilizations and abortions for the sake of diminishing the local Uyghur population, as well as repressive campaigns in Tibet and Hong Kong, have led the United States, Australia, Canada, and the UK to impose a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games. Merkley said several requests were made to the IOC to move the Games to a different city, but that all were refused. To this end, the CECC described the regime’s promotion of the Winter Games as a “facade that distracts global attention from egregious human rights abuses in China.” As such, the Feb. 3 hearing was designed to protest ongoing repression by giving “a platform to voices working on behalf of the abused and repressed in China, including civil society, human rights defenders, the people of Hong Kong, Uyghurs, and Tibetans,” and included several speakers whose relatives had been wrongfully arrested or disappeared by the Chinese communist regime. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) accused the IOC of “craven pandering,” for its continued support of Beijing and said responsibility for the tragedies rests solely with CCP lead

Pelosi Slams IOC for Turning Blind Eye to Beijing’s Genocide

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned the Chinese regime for its gross human rights violations on the eve of the opening ceremony for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

“If we do not speak out against human rights violations in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out against human rights violations anywhere,” Pelosi said.

The remarks came during a Feb. 3 meeting of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), a bipartisan congressional body established in 2000 to report annually on developments concerning human rights and the rule of law in China.

Pelosi and other lawmakers present at the meeting also accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of turning a blind eye to genocide and other human rights abuses committed by China’s ruling communist regime.

“Now the IOC, aided by corporate sponsors, once again turns a blind eye with the 2022 Winter Olympics just to bolster their bottom line,” she said.

Likewise, CECC Chair Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) referred to the IOC and its corporate sponsors as “feckless” for refusing to speak up because of fear of losing market share in China. CECC Co-chair Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said the companies supporting the IOC would need to find a new way of doing business.

“The paradigm must change,” McGovern said. “These companies are going to need to figure out a way to make money other than reliance on forced labor and abetting crimes against humanity.”

While Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has denied that it’s engaging in systematic human rights abuses, the IOC has consistently declined to take a stance on the regime’s rights abuses. For this reason, as well as the IOC’s alleged contracting of Chinese apparel companies with ties to forced labor, the global sporting body has drawn harsh criticism from U.S. lawmakers.

Both Pelosi and Merkley said people throughout the world know better than to believe the CCP’s story and reiterated the U.S. stance that the regime is committing genocide against the Uyghur Muslim minority in China’s Xinjiang region.

“The United States and the international community know the truth,” Pelosi said. “The People’s Republic of China is perpetrating a campaign of gross human rights violations, including genocide.”

Merkley made comments echoing the House speaker’s position.

“The story of [CCP] leadership is one of genocide, slave labor, forced sterilization, the desecration of democracy in Hong Kong, Orwellian repression in Xinjiang and Tibet, culling of critics at home and abroad, and suppression of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, civil society, and rule of law across the country,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo An ice machine prepares the surface for training sessions of short track Speed Skating teams at the Capital Indoor Stadium, ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing on Jan. 30, 2022. (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

Warning to US Athletes

Pelosi characterized the U.S. confrontation of Beijing’s human rights abuses as a “moral duty,” but warned U.S. athletes present at the Olympics to refrain from activities that could draw the attention of “ruthless” CCP officials.

“Don’t for one moment believe anything the Chinese government might tell you about freedom of expression,” she said. “You take a risk [speaking out].”

Pelosi’s comments come roughly a week after House Democrats unveiled their “China bill,” which was originally intended to promote U.S competition against China, but was later watered down to serve as a jobs measure, with several progressive objectives that include climate change funding and millions of dollars for diversity initiatives. She took a moment to promote the legislation, noting that it contained a provision that would prioritize refugees from Xinjiang who attempt to come to the United States.

The ongoing oppression in Xinjiang, where Chinese authorities have forcibly committed sterilizations and abortions for the sake of diminishing the local Uyghur population, as well as repressive campaigns in Tibet and Hong Kong, have led the United States, Australia, Canada, and the UK to impose a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games.

Merkley said several requests were made to the IOC to move the Games to a different city, but that all were refused.

To this end, the CECC described the regime’s promotion of the Winter Games as a “facade that distracts global attention from egregious human rights abuses in China.”

As such, the Feb. 3 hearing was designed to protest ongoing repression by giving “a platform to voices working on behalf of the abused and repressed in China, including civil society, human rights defenders, the people of Hong Kong, Uyghurs, and Tibetans,” and included several speakers whose relatives had been wrongfully arrested or disappeared by the Chinese communist regime.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) accused the IOC of “craven pandering,” for its continued support of Beijing and said responsibility for the tragedies rests solely with CCP leader Xi Jinping.

“This is Xi Jinping’s genocide,” Smith said. “He should be at the Hague, being held to account for crimes against humanity and genocide.

“Instead, he’ll be at those opening ceremonies and throughout shining in the spotlight while people are being forced into labor, are being tortured, and are being killed.”

IOC officials didn’t respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.


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Andrew Thornebrooke is a reporter for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master's in military history from Norwich University.