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Current Affairs

Boycott of winter Olympics in Beijing

Date: 21 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

US speaker, Nancy Pelosi has called for diplomatic boycott of winter Olympics to be held in Beijing in 2022.

 

Background

The statement by the speaker was in response to various reports that have highlighted human rights abuse against ethnic minorities taking place in China.

 

Details

  • Pelosi has not only urged US lawmakers to push the demand for boycott but she has also requested the global diplomatic community to participate in boycott.

  • She also questioned moral authority of members to speak against human rights abuse as they have been supportive of participating in the event.

  • Pelosi is the only international lawmaker to have called for boycotting the multi-country event. Earlier, British MPs had also demanded that the country’s athletes pull out of the event.

 

Reason for the demand

  • The right to host the multi-country event was won by Beijing in 2015. It became the only city to hold both summer and winter Olympics.

  • Human rights activists are not pleased by the efforts of China to modify its image in light of human rights abuses against ethnic Uighur minorities in Xinjiang region.

  • Activists representing Uighurs, Tibetans and pro-democracy activists of Hong Kong issued a joint statement that criticised global countries for failing to address such issues.

  • They demanded for total boycott of the winter games in Beijing. US has reciprocated by terming Uighur repression as genocide.

 

Uighur atrocities

  • UN had earlier issued a statement to acknowledge that they received various credible information of Uighur oppression by the ruling communist regime.

  • The Muslim Uighurs are forcibly taken to so called “re-education camps” where families are separated. They are barred from offering prayers and practicing their faith.

  • There is also a strong proof that shows that people are forcibly made to work in cotton fields of Xinjiang, which is later exported to the west.

 

China’s response

China has accused Pelosi’s statement as full of lies and urged international community to avoid playing political games.

 

Earlier boycott

  • Earlier, there was international boycott of summer Olympics held in Berlin (1936) and Moscow (1980).

  • Only some countries participated in boycott, whereas many of the allies and neutral countries went ahead and competed.