The speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has called on world leaders to refrain from attending the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, due to the human rights situation in China.
Speaking at a congressional hearing on Tuesday, Pelosi criticized Beijing's human rights record in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and elsewhere. She said, "We cannot proceed as if nothing is wrong about the Olympics going to China."
The California Democrat said that if heads of state go to China, while acts of genocide are being carried out, people will say, "What moral authority do you have to speak again about human rights, any place in the world?"
She said, "Honor your athletes at home. Let's have a diplomatic boycott."
At the hearing, another lawmaker proposed postponing the Beijing Games and changing the venue. The event is scheduled to take place next February. In a reference to the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he said, "If we can postpone an Olympics by a year for a pandemic, we can surely postpone the Olympics for a year for a genocide."
The administration of President Joe Biden has so far maintained that its position regarding the Beijing Olympics is unchanged. However, US lawmakers across party lines are ramping up pressure on the administration to reconsider its position, in light of the human rights situation in China.