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Pelosi warns US athletes against angering ‘ruthless’ Chinese government during Olympics

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addresses reporters during her weekly press conference on Thursday, February 3, 2022.
Greg Nash

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday warned U.S. athletes participating in the Beijing Winter Olympics not to risk angering a “ruthless” Chinese government, Reuters reported

Speaking at a Congressional-Executive Commission on China hearing, Pelosi said the U.S. has an “urgent moral duty to shine a bright light” on China’s human rights abuses, including those toward the Uyghur ethnic minority in Xinjiang.

“Now the IOC, aided by corporate sponsors, once again turns a blind eye with the 2022 Winter Olympics just to bolster their bottom line,” Pelosi said, referring to the International Olympic Committee.

“If we do not speak out against human rights violations in China, because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out against human rights violations anywhere,” she continued.

But Pelosi urged athletes to focus on competing in the games rather than speaking out.

“Do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless,” Pelosi said. 

On Monday, lawmakers told U.S. Olympic officials to prepare to defend American athletes from Chinese ​​retaliation if they choose to speak out against China’s human rights violations, according to Reuters.

This comes as the U.S. and a handful of other countries have announced diplomatic boycotts of the upcoming Beijing Winter Games due to concerns over ongoing human rights violations in China. The games are set to begin on Friday.

Tags 2022 Beijing Olympics Beijing China Nancy Pelosi

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