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Beijing’s Olympic reckoning?

One year ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, human rights groups and lawmakers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada are calling for a boycott of the games over China’s human rights abuses.

Last week, parliaments in the Netherlands and Canada voted to declare the Chinese government’s treatment of minority Uyghurs constitutes genocide. Canadian lawmakers also passed an amendment calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to move the Winter Games from Beijing if the genocide continues.

Chinese authorities have sent more than 1 million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities to reeducation camps in Xinjiang, a region in China’s northwest. The region made headlines again recently as survivors and a former guard revealed the extent of rape, sexual abuse, and torture in the camps.

With Beijing set to host the Winter Games, some critics compare the situation to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, when the United States and other nations gave Adolf Hitler a platform and legitimized the Nazi regime by competing in the games. At the time, the Nazis had already enacted discriminatory policies against Jews and the disabled.

Now the question is whether to allow another authoritarian dictatorship host the games.

Earlier this year, the United States declared China’s treatment of Uyghurs to be genocide. Republican lawmakers in both the House and Senate have introduced resolutions calling for the 2022 Winter Games to be moved out of Beijing.

Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, sent President Joe Biden a letter on Feb. 22 with a similar message. “Participation in an Olympics held in a country that is openly committing genocide not only undermines [U.S. and international] values but casts a shadow on the promise for all those who seek free and just societies,” Katko wrote.

Read more at World Magazine

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