The leading Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee wants President Biden to boycott next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.
“The actions taken by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are antithetical to the values of both the United States and its allies around the world,” Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) wrote in a letter to the president obtained by ABC News. “Participation in an Olympics held in a country who is openly committing genocide not only undermines those shared values but casts a shadow on the promise for all those who seek free and just societies.”
The Chinese government has been widely criticized by the international community for its oppression of minority Muslim Uighurs the country’s Xinjiang region. The backlash follows a report in January detailing a mass government sterilization campaign against ethnic minorities there.
“Mr. President, the evidence is clear — the CCP is deliberately and systematically working to eliminate an entire population within its own borders,” Katko said.
He added that the U.S. “simply cannot in good faith participate in an Olympic Games in a country that is committing genocide and continuously attempts to manipulate and lie to the global community about such atrocities.”
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the day before Biden was sworn in the U.S. would officially designate the situation in Xinjiang as genocide. Canada has made a similar designation
Biden administration officials are reportedly reviewing the merits of the U.S. designation.
“What is happening with the Uighurs is horrendous and we have to recognize it for what it is,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden’s pick to represent the U.S. at the United Nations, told a Senate panel last month
. “I lived through and experienced and witnessed a genocide in Rwanda, so I know what it looks like. And I know what it feels like. And this feels like that. We just have to call it for what it is.”
Biden has made no public statements about the allegations against the Chinese government since taking office.