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Boycott Beijing: Biden’s Opportunity to Unite Americans

February 02, 2022

He promised to unite the country.

And while he couldn’t achieve unity with record inflation, an oppressive vaccine mandate, labor shortages, the worst border crisis in American history, and his shameful withdrawal from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden still has the chance to deliver on his unity promise by boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Whatever your political ideology, there’s a reason to Boycott Beijing. Top of the list: the COVID-19 pandemic.

After 349 million infections and 5.6 million deaths reported worldwide, the Chinese Communist government has failed to accept responsibility for, or allow a transparent investigation into, the COVID-19 pandemic. For the last two years, the People’s Republic of China has concealed vital public health information from the world; it has silenced medical whistleblowers, and destroyed critical epidemiological information.

These aren’t fringe views or conspiracy theories. At his confirmation hearing, Biden’s Secretary of State Tony Blinken categorically agreed that “the Chinese Communist Party misled the world about the coronavirus.”

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese Communist government must be held accountable for its genocide in Xinjiang.

Since 2017, the Communist government has engaged in genocide against the Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other predominantly Muslim populations of the Xinjiang Uyghur region. According to Amnesty International, an estimated one million people have been removed from their homes, detained without trials, and sentenced to hard labor in reeducation camps. Many have been killed; others have been tortured, and forcibly sterilized. Moreover, the oppression against Christians, Falun Gong, and dissenters is legendary.

Other than MSNBC, whose parent company, NBC Universal, stands to make billions in ad revenue from the Beijing Games, there is universal agreement that China’s crimes in Xinjiang are genocide. Last March, Biden’s own State Department agreed with the “genocide and crimes against humanity” designation.

The Democratic Party platform explicitly calls for placing “values at the center of our foreign policy.”

“We will lead, not just with the example of our power, but with the power of our example,” the party platform promises. “Global democratic backsliding and the erosion of human rights put our interests and values at risk.”

If the million Uyghurs isn’t a call to action, surely Democrats would be motivated to protect the human rights of China’s LGBTQ citizens. Al Jazeera and the BBC News have reported on China’s widespread crackdown against LGBTQ groups. In November, LGBT Rights Advocacy China announced that it was ceasing all activities. Social media platform WeChat, ostensibly at the direction of the Communist government, has permanently suspended more than a dozen LGBTQ groups.

How about police brutality and arbitrary arrests?

In Hong Kong, the Chinese Communist government is engaging in “police brutality against protesters and persons in custody; arbitrary arrests, and politically motivated reprisals,” according to the U.S. State Department. China has declared war on freedom of expression, access to information, and the free press.

“Beijing is systematically erasing the civil and political rights people long enjoyed,” warns Human Rights Watch. “Citizens no longer have the right to participate in free and fair elections, and to run for office.”

This is not a case of political embellishment. Some residents of Hong Kong have lost their voting rights because of decrees from Beijing. When the State of Georgia had the audacity to require voters to show identification at the polls, Joe Biden labeled it the return of Jim Crow, demanded that Major League Baseball move its All-Star Game out of the state, and opened a federal Justice Department investigation. Moreover, American athletes were recently threatened by the Chinese Communist Party that they would be arrested if they demonstrated for human rights while in China. Already, U.S. Olympians are asked to use temporary “burner” phones instead of their personal devices, and to expect to be under constant surveillance. How are high-caliber athletes to perform under these oppressive conditions?

We’re a long way from when Biden promised “to stop treating our opponents as our enemies.”

An Olympic boycott is an appropriate vehicle for depriving Communist China of the “legitimacy of the Games” and “punishing them” for genocide, crimes against humanity, human rights abuses in Hong Kong, and its willful disregard for global health in handling the coronavirus. That, 42 years ago, was then-Senator Joe Biden’s rationale for co-sponsoring legislation to boycott the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

“It seems to me that it is extremely important that we deprive the Soviet Union of the legitimacy of these games, as well as punish them internationally,” Biden said at a Jan. 28, 1980, hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A boycott, Biden said, “sends a clear and strong message around the world that the Soviet Union should be punished.”

Americans of all parties and political ideologies can agree: The People’s Republic of China represents the greatest threat to the free world–with no close second.