05/19/2021, 10.25
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Nancy Pelosi: boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, in support of Uyghurs

According to the US House of Representatives speaker it is the only response to the genocide of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Yes to the participation of athletes, but the heads of state should not attend. The Chinese denounce Washington's interference. The US Olympic Committee is against the boycott.

Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Nancy Pelosi yesterday called for a "diplomatic" boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. In a congressional hearing, the speaker of the House of Representatives said that due to the genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, only athletes should go to the Games in China: heads of state and government should avoid attending.

Pelosi maintains the participation of foreign leaders in the event would legitimize the work of the Chinese regime.

According to expert data, confirmed by the United Nations, Chinese authorities hold or have held more than a million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz people in Xinjiang internment and labour camps, often forced to take part in the cotton harvest.

Some independent researchers also claim that the Chinese government is conducting a local campaign of forced sterilisations to control the growth of the Muslim population.

Beijing has rejected the accusation of genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities, calling it the “lie of the century.” Chinese leaders say that the camps in the autonomous region are not concentration camps, but vocational centres implementing projects to reduce poverty, as well as fight terrorism and separatism.

Pelosi said that the heads of state who will go to Beijing for the Games in February will no longer have "the moral authority" to denounce the violation of human rights in China as in other parts of the world.

The Chinese embassy in the United States responded to the attack by the Democratic speaker by arguing that US leaders have no right to speak of human rights violations.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress are largely united on the need to boycott or change the venue for next year's Winter Olympics. US lawmakers are also targeting large US companies, guilty of wanting to do business in China while ignoring what is happening in Xinjiang.

The Biden administration has not spoken out on a possible boycott of the Games. The US Olympic Committee said it was against. It explained that not participating would be punitive for athletes, and that boycotts of the Olympics in the past have not achieved the desired political results.

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