The House on Wednesday passed measures to exert diplomatic pressure on the Chinese government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for alleged human rights violations as the United States urges its allies to join its official boycott of Beijing 2022 Games.
The passage of three separate bills addressing the Chinese government’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims and tennis player Peng Shuai comes after the Biden administration announced earlier this week that it would not send any representatives from the government at the February Winter Olympics.
Since then, the governments of Australia, Britain, Lithuania and Canada have also said they will join the U.S.-led diplomatic boycott. However, athletes from all these nations can still participate in the Olympic Games.
“If we do not stand up for human rights in China because of business or economic ties, we lose all moral authority to speak out about human rights violations all over the world,” the president said. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Passes Bills To Put Pressure On China Amid Olympic Boycott (D-California).
Lawmakers first passed a bill, 428-1, that would ban imports from China’s Xinjiang region, where the government is accused of detaining Uyghur Muslims in forced labor camps, as well as punishing those responsible for human rights violations.
Another resolution, adopted 427-1, formally condemns “the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity committed against” Uyghur Muslims and other religious minorities by the Chinese government and urges the president to call on the United Nations to investigate these allegations.
And a third measure, passed 428-0, officially tells the House that the International Olympic Committee “legitimizes” the Chinese government’s claims regarding the safety of Peng, a Chinese tennis player who disappeared from public view after allegedly alleging that she was sexually assaulted by a senior Communist Party official.
Peng disappeared from the public eye for more than two weeks in November after accusing Zhang Gaoli, a former Chinese vice premier, of forcing her to have sex. Her social media post of November 2, where she made the allegation, has since been deleted.
The IOC said last month that its president, Thomas Bach, had set up a video call with Peng and a Chinese sports official. The committee said Peng appeared to be “relaxed” and “doing well,” but the organization was criticized for failing to provide video footage or transcripts of the conversations to prove she was safe.
An IOC spokesperson admitted on Tuesday that “we cannot give assurances and we do not know all the facts” on the case, according to the Associated Press.
But the spokesperson said that Peng and the committee chairman were scheduled to meet for a dinner in Beijing in January, saying there is “a full roadmap to at least attempt to keep in touch and see where it is “.
The resolution passed by the House on Wednesday said the committee’s role raises questions about its “ability and willingness to protect the rights of athletes competing in the 2022 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics.”
He added that the Chinese government “would help alleviate concerns about the safety of athletes at the Beijing Olympics by ensuring Peng’s freedom and safety and by investigating his allegations in a fair and transparent manner.”
“There will be athletes [from] everywhere in the world. This body owes not only to Peng, but to all the athletes participating in the Olympic Games, to demonstrate that we do not take their safety and their freedom for granted ”, declared the president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksHouse passes bills to pressure China amid Olympic boycott (DN.Y.).
The United States’ efforts to pressure China over its alleged human rights abuses are not limited to its treatment of Uyghur Muslims or the Peng case.
Earlier this year, the House passed a bipartisan resolution to formally condemn the Chinese government and the Hong Kong regional government for actions that “violate the rights and freedoms” of its citizens and called for the release of pro-democracy activists arrested under a new national law. security law which imposed severe penalties on demonstrators.
White House press secretary Jen psakiJen PsakiBriahna Joy Gray discusses US handling of COVID-19 tests Senate votes against Biden’s vaccine mandate for business House passes bills to pressure China amid Olympic boycott MORE last week postponed against a Washington Post report that Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman had urged lawmakers to slow down the bill banning imports from Xinjiang because the administration preferred a more targeted approach to determining which products were the products of forced labor. Psaki said that “we are absolutely not lobbying against the passage of this bill.”
The Chinese government has threatened to fight back against the Biden administration for its diplomatic boycott of the Olympics.
“The US wrong move has undermined the foundation and atmosphere of Sino-US sports exchanges and Olympic cooperation. It shot himself in the foot. The United States should understand the grave consequences of their move. decision, “said Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for China. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a press conference on Tuesday, according to CNN.