Last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent a letter to Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympics Committee, urging the committee to reconsider its decision to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.
Scott wrote Bach on Thursday and the letter he sent is below:
As we approach the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, I write to you with grave concern about the decision by the International Olympic Committee to allow a communist regime to host a global sporting event that attracts athletes and spectators from all across the world.
Last week, the world watched while communist China pressured the NBA to censor themselves over a tweet supporting Hong Kong citizens who are fighting for their freedom. The NBA, an American organization, was quick to kowtow to the Chinese government in fear that speaking out would cut into their profits. If communist China has the ability to censor the NBA from speaking about anything that may offend President Xi, what will they do to athletes from around the world? Will this regime start censoring or restricting participating athletes? What about the press? Will their broadcasts be censored to appease President Xi?
The NBA is just the tip of the iceberg. For far too long the world has turned a blind eye to this regime’s oppressive tactics. Communist China is not trying to hide their intentions anymore. President Xi is a human rights violator and suppressor of free speech. President Xi’s China has set up a surveillance infrastructure masked as technology “businesses” like ZTE and Huawei. The United States has already stopped the sale of these state-sponsored products to prevent the Chinese from stealing data of residents and visitors in the United States. I implore you to look closely at the global security threat these communist Chinese companies pose. The 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing will provide the Chinese government full access to a global array of dignitaries, athletes, corporations, and governments when someone simply turns on their phone, or connects to the Wi-Fi in the hotel. That sort of totalitarian surveillance must be avoided at all costs.
Time after time, communist China has made and broken its promises. Communist China is stealing our technology, and refuses to open their markets to foreign goods as required by their agreement to be part of the WTO. They are militarizing the South China Sea, even after they promised President Obama they would not. They continue to attack religious freedom by detaining more than one million Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic minority group in Communist China, in internment and re-education camps, and have not lived up to the agreement to give Hong Kong autonomy and freedom. I recently traveled to Hong Kong and met with many courageous individuals fighting for their basic freedoms that communist China promised during the handover. As they continue to fight for democracy, the communist government in China has turned Hong Kong into a police state as a way to force their citizens into compliance with Beijing’s rule of law.
The International Olympic Committee is now faced with an important decision. If communist China continues breaking promises, violating human rights, and oppressing the people of Hong Kong, then Beijing should not be allowed to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. The Olympic Games are an incredible opportunity to allow the world’s best athletes to represent their countries, and should not be hosted by communist China and President Xi, who does not value human rights. I ask this committee to stand up for freedom and urge communist China to do the right thing, or find a new home for the 2022 Olympic Games.