Senate Approves Rick Scott’s Resolution Supporting Peng Shuai, Rebuking IOC Without Opposition

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed without opposition a resolution from U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., “supporting Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai” and which “rebukes the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its failure to clearly and forcefully challenge the Chinese Communist Party’s claims about her safety.”

Scott’s resolution was championed by more than a dozen co-sponsors led by U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

“Today, the United States Senate sent a clear message that Communist China’s silencing of Peng Shuai is unacceptable and the IOC’s cooperation with the authoritarian and oppressive communist Chinese regime in covering up this alleged assault will not be tolerated. In passing this resolution, the Senate is again rightly standing in support of freedom and democracy around the world, and showing Xi Jinping that we will never turn a blind eye to his gross behavior. We will never stop fighting to support brave women like Peng Shuai and will continue to demand accountability and condemn the horrific abuses of the Chinese Communist Party.”

“In the time since the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics we have not been given any clarity regarding the freedom, well-being, and safety of Peng Shuai. In passing this resolution, the United States Senate is reaffirming that the International Olympic Committee’s unwillingness to clearly and forcefully stand up to the CCP and call for independent assurance into the safety of Peng Shuai has stood in direct opposition to what we stand for, and to the broader diplomatic efforts to push for her freedom and well-being. The U.S. continues to call out disturbing human rights abuses by the CCP,” Warner said.

Back in December, the U.S. House passed without opposition a resolution “condemning the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) gross mishandling and cover-up of three-time Olympian Peng Shuai’s allegations of sexual assault against a former senior CCP official and her subsequent disappearance” championed by a member of the Florida delegation.

U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., introduced the resolution with U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., as the main co-sponsor. U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., also co-sponsored the resolution.

“The resolution denounces the IOC and CCP’s failure to adhere to basic human rights commitments, investigate Peng’s sexual assault allegation, or respect the free speech of athletes. The IOC’s actions, including twice asserting without providing evidence that Peng Shuai was ‘doing fine’ and desired privacy, despite warnings and condemnation from human rights groups, undermine efforts by the United States government and others to secure Peng’s safety,” Waltz’s office noted.

The resolution passed 428-0.

“I’m pleased both Republicans and Democrats came together to condemn the IOC’s capitulation to the Chinese Communist Party by helping cover up Peng Shuai’s allegations of sexual assault against a senior CCP official and assist in whitewashing her disappearance,” said Waltz. “Gender-based assault remains a serious issue in China and the IOC has further emboldened the mistreatment of women by refusing to call for a thorough, independent investigation on behalf of Peng. The IOC has again demonstrated they are willing to compromise their own values in exchange for the monetary benefits that come with hosting the Olympics in China.”

“Peng Shuai’s disappearance has put the Chinese government’s repressive and brutal assault on human rights on full display for the world to see,” said Wexton. “While the IOC is once again turning a blind eye to human rights abuses and putting its bottom line over the safety of athletes, human rights groups, tennis stars, and concerned people across the globe have come together to ask a simple question – ‘where is Peng Shuai?’ Today the House of Representatives is demanding answers and calling for the immediate guarantee of Peng Shuai’s freedom and safety.”

Kevin Derby
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