Pelosi Statement on President Biden Announcing No U.S. Diplomatic Presence at Winter Olympics in Beijing

December 6, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the Biden Administration announced that there will be no U.S. diplomatic presence at the 2022 Winter Olympics, which the Speaker called for in May:

“As House Speaker, I applaud President Biden’s strong leadership in announcing that there will be no official U.S. diplomatic presence at the 2022 Winter Olympics.  While we must support and celebrate our athletes, America – and the world – cannot give our official imprimatur to these games or proceed as if there is nothing wrong with holding the Olympics in a country perpetrating genocide and mass human rights violations.  Allowing a country notorious for its appalling human rights record to host the Olympics makes a mockery of the Olympic Charter, which states that the Games should seek to foster ‘respect for universal and fundamental ethical principles.’

“As I noted when I called for a diplomatic boycott last May, the last three decades of Beijing’s abusive and repressive actions show that the international community can no longer give Beijing a blank check and hope that its behavior will simply change.  The international community must speak out, clearly and with one voice, against Beijing’s crackdown against human rights: from its genocide against the Uyghurs, to its long campaign of repression against the Tibetan people and to its assault on basic freedoms in Hong Kong and on the mainland.  In the Congress, I have long opposed China’s many bids to host the Olympics, as early as 1993, when Congressman Tom Lantos led us in passing legislation urging the IOC to reject Beijing’s 2000 bid for the summer Olympics because of its ‘massive violation of human rights.’ 

“The Congress has and will continue our long bipartisan and bicameral commitment to holding China accountable.  Over the past two years, we have passed and had signed into law the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, the Tibetan Policy and Support Act and the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019.  And in this Congress, we have passed a resolution condemning the continued violation of rights of Hong Kong by Beijing and the Government of Hong Kong and will take up additional legislation including the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act this week.  As one united international community, we have the opportunity and responsibility to hold Beijing to account and to stand up for human dignity and freedom in the region and around the world."