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Chinese Communist Party Threatens Olympians

Torture, "re-education" camps, organ harvesting, religious persecution and all other human rights abuses are off limits for athletes set to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics hosted in Beijing, China.

The threat of punishment for political protests was announced after several nations followed the United States' lead in publicizing a diplomatic boycott of the Games. World leaders are reportedly protesting the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) genocidal policies and the use of slave labor to fulfill manufacturing contracts. Despite these measures taken by government officials, athletes from their respective countries are still allowed to compete in Beijing.

According to a Beijing Winter Olympics press release, “China said it may punish athletes whose words and actions go against Chinese laws at next month’s Beijing Winter Olympics, as human rights activists warned participants against speaking out on sensitive issues to ensure their safety during the Games.”

The release also quoted Yang Shu, deputy director general of international relations, saying, “Any expression that is in line with the Olympic spirit, I’m sure will be protected. Any behaviour or speeches that are against the Olympic spirit, and especially against Chinese laws and regulations are also subjected to certain punishment.”

In addition to Shu's warning, some coaches and fellow athletes are encouraging international sports team members to remain silent on political matters while competing in Beijing. Organizations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have not confirmed whether they will protect and advocate for athletes who protest during the Games.

Billboard comparing Communist China's Games to Nazi Germany's Olympic Games

In response to the Biden Administration’s decision to boycott, one source said, “Human rights abuses should be condemned in the strongest possible terms wherever they take place, but Biden’s response to politically boycott the Olympics is timid and misplaced. The pursuit of freedom requires us to take unambiguous positions, and sports are exceptionally effective means to bring people together and promote ongoing dialogues.”

The source also mentioned the failed boycotts of the 1936 Berlin Games and the 1980 Moscow Games. Both highly publicized events took place during the ongoing persecution, imprisonment and murder of Jews, Christians and dissidents. “Past Olympic boycotts have failed for a number of legal, political and ethical reasons. The Olympic movement encompasses 206 countries and for any boycott to be successful it needs the support of the overwhelming majority of countries,” the source said.

Many nations are economically coupled with the People's Republic of China as one of its most lucrative markets and trading partners. At the same time, a majority of world leaders likely view the Chinese Communist Party as a formidable superpower with the ability to single-handedly prosper its allies or destroy its opposition. Diplomatic boycotts send a message that government officials are taking a safe and soft stand against the regime, a move that may hinder monetary gains and ruin their welcome with the CCP for a time.

An athletic boycott would signal a legitimate concerted effort to disrupt the status quo, a move that places the value of life, liberty and well-being above the privilege of playing a game. The world will soon see who chooses to further their career by remaining silent and who will forfeit the Beijing events that begin on Feb. 3.


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