Chairs Commend the Administration’s Diplomatic Boycott Announcement, Urge Sponsors to Also Not Attend 2022 Winter Olympics

(Washington)—Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative James P. McGovern (D-MA), the Chair and Cochair, respectively, of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China, issued the following statement commending the Biden Administration’s announcements of a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and urging Olympic corporate sponsors to announce similar attendance boycotts in the coming week.

"We commend the Biden Administration for announcing a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. U.S. allies and partners should make similar announcements in the coming weeks as the international community cannot condone with their presence an Olympic Games tarnished by genocide and some of the world’s most egregious human rights abuses. Nevertheless, we continue to argue that a diplomatic boycott is not enough.”

"At the very least, the American corporate sponsors of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should also refuse to send senior executives to the Games in Beijing, as we asked them to do at the July 27 Commission hearing. Business as usual is not acceptable given the atrocities being committed by the Chinese government.  We look forward to hearing from the corporate sponsors in the coming weeks about steps they will be taking so that they are not condoning genocide or crimes against humanity.”

"We also urge our fellow parliamentarians around the world to join us in asking the IOC and its partners to use their leverage to put pressure on the Chinese government to release prisoners of conscience and reduce the stain they have put on the Olympic spirit.”

The Chairs released a video last week kicking off the #OlympicPrisoner project that will highlight the cases of political prisoners in China in the months before the 2022 Winter Olympics. The political prisoner cases are drawn from the CECC’s searchable Political Prisoner Database. The #OlympicPrisoner project can be followed on Twitter and Instagram.