While all eyes are on Tokyo’s upcoming Summer Olympics, America should take a stand against the Chinese Communist Party by boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics, set to commence a year from now.

John Balentine, a former managing editor for the Lakes Region Weekly, lives in Windham.

While it’s probably too late to revoke China’s host nation status for the 2022 event, it’s not too late for individual nations to stay home. The world can speak truth to corrupt Chinese power by making such a stand. If nations choose to attend, individual athletes can still boycott and viewers can choose to tune out.

With China’s long and horrible record regarding human rights, it’s unfathomable why the International Olympic Committee has awarded the Olympics to China twice in 14 years, the first being 2008’s Beijing Summer Games.

But here we are, and Beijing is on track to host yet another Olympics next year, despite glaring and obvious reasons why they should not be allowed to – most importantly China’s role in COVID-19 but also its treatment of Uighur Muslims and democracy and independence advocates in Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

By its recent actions, China has proven it cares not for the Olympic ideals of peace and goodwill among all nations. Their upcoming Games must be boycotted by those countries who still believe in these high ideals.

If China had worked with health experts from the United Nations following the original COVID-19 outbreak in late 2019, we might be able to forgive the Chinese. But the communist government’s deliberate misleading of health officials from the World Health Organization and United States and prideful resistance of calls for transparency and cooperation early on directly resulted in the worldwide health and economic crisis we’re in now.


Secondly, and just as importantly, the ruling Chinese Communist Party, which interns and “re-educates” in an effort to break the will and identity of the 11-million-strong Uighur Muslim ethnic minority community should not be awarded an Olympic Games whose main purpose is to promote inclusiveness, peace, understanding and tolerance.

According to reports (check out a particularly good one one from PBS NewsHour, “What is happening with the Uighurs in China?” featuring satellite images), China has built about 85 concentration camps in Xinjiang province capable of imprisoning about 1 million Uighurs since 2017.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Chinese actions against Uighurs “genocide” in a Jan. 19 speech. He said Uighur women have been subjected to forced abortions and sterilizations, separated from their children and forced to marry non-Uighurs.

President Joe Biden’s new secretary of state, Tony Blinken, supported Pompeo’s “genocide” designation during his confirmation hearing agreeing it “would be my judgment as well.”

Non-governmental criticism of China is also gaining. Last week, 180 human rights organizations called for a worldwide boycott of the Beijing Olympics on account of China’s human rights record.

I doubt President Biden has the will to make a bold move against a powerful trade partner, but he should follow President Carter’s 1980 boycott of the Moscow Games by leading a global boycott of a similarly oppressive Communist regime in China. Yes, some athletes will complain, but it’s the right thing to do.

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