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Top United States lawmaker Nancy Pelosi has called for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, criticising China for human rights abuses and saying that global leaders who attend would lose their ‘moral authority’.
Findings have shown that US legislators have been increasingly vocal about an Olympic boycott or venue change.
They have also lashed out at American corporations, arguing their silence about what the US State Department has deemed genocide against Uighur and other ethnic minorities in China was abetting the Chinese government.
Pelosi, a Democrat, told a bipartisan congressional hearing on the issue on Tuesday that heads of state around the world should shun the games, scheduled for February.
Pelosi said she was proposing ‘a diplomatic boycott’ in which “lead countries of the world withhold their attendance at the Olympics”.
‘Let’s not honour the Chinese government by having heads of state go to China,’ Pelosi said.
‘For heads of state to go to China in light of a genocide that is ongoing – while you’re sitting there in your seat – really begs the question, what moral authority do you have to speak again about human rights any place in the world?‘ she said.
An independent United Nations panel said in 2018 that it had received credible reports that at least one million Uighur and other Muslims had been held in camps in China’s western Xinjiang region. Beijing describes the camps as vocational training centres that aim to stamp out ‘extremism‘ and strongly rejects accusations of abuse and genocide.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK