A global campaign is underway to strip China of the right to host the Beijing Winter Olympic Games in 2022 over allegations of human rights abuses.
A global group of political leaders is pushing the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to reconsider Beijing as the host of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
The coalition of MPs have voiced their increasing concerns over China’s poor human right’s record according to a report from the Sydney Morning Herald. The push signals a new potential alliance between conservative MPs and human rights advocacy groups who could work to threaten a boycott of the games.
It could also potentially affect the game’s finances as the Tokyo Summer Olympics struggles to stay on schedule for 2021, after being postponed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have asked that the IOC thinks again about hosting in China,” said Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a British MP, and co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China and former leader of the Conservative Party in Britain.
Sir Iain said other countries needed to be “more supportive of Australia”, who’d been turned into “a scapegoat” after calling for an international inquiry into the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The free world does have a strong position to say the bullying, the threatening, the internal repression, the border disputes, the arrogant attitude to your neighbours, the breaking of the treaty with Hong Kong – these must have consequences,” Sir Iain said.
“At the moment the Chinese believe these consequences are no more than just condemnation.”
The calls from Sir Iain follow more than 160 human rights advocacy groups delivering a joint letter to the chief of the IOC at the start of September, urging the committee to reconsider Beijing as the location for the games.
“The IOC must recognise that the Olympic spirit and the reputation of the Olympic Games will suffer further damage if the worsening human rights crisis, across all areas under China’s control, is simply ignored,” the letter read.
The letter also argued that Beijing’s hosting of the Summer games in 2008 emboldened China to engage in different policies including targeting ethnic minorites including Uyghur people.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has rejected accusations from the humans right advocacy groups that the government violated human rights.
“The groundless allegations of these organisations are not worth refuting,” foreign affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian said.
“Attempts to politicise sports run counter to the spirit of the Olympic Charter. China firmly opposes them.”
The alliance pushing for the IOC to reconsider the games is made up of 160 members from the United States, Canada, the UK, Japan, New Zealand and Europe.