Florida’s two Republicans in the U.S. Senate—Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–are backing a resolution urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) move the 2022 Winter Olympics out of China unless the communist regime changes its human rights policy.
Scott introduced the resolution on Tuesday with U.S. Sen. Ed Markie, D-Mass., as the main cosponsor other cosponsors include U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Tom Cotton, R-Okla., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Doug Jones, D-Ala., Martha McSally, R-Ariz., Rubio and Todd Young, R-Ind.
“Communist China should not be allowed to host the 2022 Olympic Games while simultaneously running concentration camps, violating human rights and oppressing the people of Hong Kong. The Olympic Games are an incredible opportunity to allow the world’s best athletes to represent their countries and unite our nations, and should not be hosted by one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. Today, the Senate is sending a clear message to the IOC: stand up for freedom and urge Communist China to do the right thing, or find a new home for the 2022 Olympic Games. It’s not about politics, it’s about human rights,” Scott said on Wednesday.
“The Chinese government and Communist Party represses the basic freedoms of the Chinese people and commits horrific human rights abuses, including detaining over a million Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang,” Rubio said. “No country should have the privilege and responsibility of hosting the Olympics or any other international sporting event while flagrantly violating their citizens’ most fundamental rights. China should be no exception.”
“China’s human rights abuses and crackdown on democracy leave it well short of the Olympic Charter standard that calls for the preservation of human dignity and denounces discrimination of any kind. I stand in solidarity with those oppressed by the Communist Party of China and call for a rebid of the 2022 Games unless Beijing changes course and addresses its violations of fundamental rights. The International Olympic Committee need not wait until 2024 to place stronger emphasis on human rights,” Markey said.
“The Chinese Communist Party continues to oppress the Chinese people—we’ve seen it blatantly in the Xinjiang “reeduction” camps as well as in Hong Kong. I see no reason to condone the Party’s actions by allowing the 2022 Winter Olympics to take place in Beijing. I am proud to join Sen. Rick Scott in introducing this resolution calling on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics out of Communist China, and relocate the games to a country where the government respects the dignity and human rights of all people,” Inhofe said.
“During the Olympics, the eyes of the world are on the country who hosts the Games,” said Durbin. “The IOC should reconsider its selection of China to host the 2022 Games due to the country’s troubling lack of political freedom and horrific detention of at least one million Uighurs. The U.S. must send a message by standing up for freedom and the rule of law.”
“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) deprives its citizens every day of fundamental human rights and human dignity. It is unacceptable that a totalitarian regime with a clear record of oppression is slated to host the 2022 Olympic Games, which are meant to represent unity and peace. On behalf of the countless victims of the CCP, I implore the IOC to find a new host for these games,” said McSally.
“The international community shouldn’t condone the reported human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese government and we certainly shouldn’t reward them by holding the Olympics there in 2022. The IOC should take a stand and find a new host,” Jones said.
“The Chinese Communist Party exploited the 2008 Summer Olympics as a propaganda event to glorify itself even as it cracked down harshly on dissenters. Beijing doesn’t deserve another chance to put a happy face on a regime that relies on concentration camps and secret police to maintain control,” Cotton said.
“The People’s Republic of China is a Communist state and it is outrageous to reward bad behavior by allowing them to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Currently in China, millions of Uighur Muslims are being held in secret re-education camps against their will, millions of babies have been aborted at the government’s direction, and the police are using force to crack down on those in Hong Kong exercising their basic rights. In light of these and other ongoing abuses, the International Olympic Committee should abandon plans for the 2022 Games in China and seek out a new host country that respects and protects human rights,” Young said.
“We cannot trust China to execute the 2022 Olympic Winter Games while it is plagued with violent suppression of free speech and state-sponsored oppression. Last year, I led a bipartisan group of Senators in urging the International Olympic Committee to implement its new Host City Contract on January 1, 2020 so that China would have to comply with new requirements regarding human rights. Given that the IOC failed to do so, the IOC ought to rebid the next winter games to a country that respects human rights,” said Blackburn.
“The Chinese Communist Party cannot be trusted on human rights and it’s wrong for them to host the 2022 Olympics,” Braun said.
The resolution was sent to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on which Rubio sits.
Florida’s senators, particularly Scott, have in recent months been active in trying to take the 2022 games away from China.
Back in October, Scott sent a letter to Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympics Committee, urging the committee to reconsider its decision to host the 2022 games in China in light of humans rights issues, the communist regime cracking down on democracy activists and the regime working to steal intellectual property and technology.
Bach responded on November 18, insisting “the mission of the Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee….being to unite the entire world in peaceful competition” with political factors taking a back seat.
“To achieve this, we must remain strictly politically neutral,” Bach wrote. “This political neutrality is enshrined in the Olympic Charter. It is in this context that the Olympic Movement always tries to build bridges between peoples. In this respect, our mission is very different from national governments.”
Scott responded to Bach’s letter in early December.
“The response I received from the International Olympic Committee is shameful and embarrassing for an organization that prides itself on ‘uniting the world in peaceful competition.’ Are they naïve enough to think communist China wants to unite the world? Secretary of the Communist Party Xi is violating human rights and stealing intellectual property and technology from the United States in an effort to dominate the world – the opposite of unity. The committee claims to be politically neutral, but the fight for human rights transcends politics. It’s sad they cannot see this,” Scott said on Tuesday.
“On top of that, the committee provided no information on how they will prevent communist China from stealing personal information and data of athletes and leaders from around the world who come to the Olympics. This kind of cowardice is shameful and disappointing, and the world needs to speak out against every organization that refuses to defend freedom and human rights,” Scott added.
Later that month, Rubio and Scot joined a letter from other senators urging the International Olympic Committee to implement Olympic Agenda 2020 and the corresponding Host City Contract in time for the 2022 Olympic Games instead of the current timeline of 2024. The new guidelines, among other requirements, hold host cities to international human rights norms and standards.
Also in December, Scott and U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., wrote a letter to the CEP of NBC Universal and the president of NBC Olympics urging them to “put human rights over profits” by requesting that the International Olympic Committee re-bid the 2022 Olympics or refuse to air the 2022 games.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.