Pelosi urges a diplomatic boycott of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, citing country's Muslim genocide

The White House has not expressed support for an Olympic boycott.
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The U.S. and Chinese flags
The U.S. and Chinese flags
(Fred Dufour / Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling for a U.S. diplomatic boycott the Winter Olympic Games, which are scheduled to take place in Beijing next year, due to the Chinese government committing genocide against Muslim-m​inority​ Uyghurs.

During a virtual hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Pelosi said Tuesday that the U.S. cannot continue to give Beijing a "blank check" and hope the behavior of the Chinese Communist Party-run county will change. 

"What moral authority do you have to speak again about human rights any place in the world if you’re willing to pay your respects to the Chinese government as they commit genocide? So honor your athletes at home. Let’s have a diplomatic boycott," the California Democrat said.

Since 2017, the Chinese Communist Party has carried out a campaign against Uyghurs and millions have been detained and forced into labor camps. Some in the ethnic group have allegedly been tortured and raped in an attempt to assimilate the group into the Chinese culture. 

Pelosi also said silence on the issue enables China to continue its abuses.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said last month that U.S. allies have discussed possible boycotts. However, the White House has not expressed any support for a boycott.

"Our position on the 2022 Olympics has not changed. We have not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.