Washington , March 17 : US Senator Mitt Romney has urged the Biden administration to partially boycott the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing over the reports of gross human rights violations against the Uyghur community in Xinjiang.
The 2012 Republican Presidential candidate called on President Biden to allow U.S. athletes to attend the games but said American spectators should not. "As the Beijing Olympic Games approach, it is increasingly clear that China, under the control of the Chinese Communist Party does not deserve an Olympic showcase. Because it is too late to move the Winter Games scheduled for Beijing next February, some have proposed, understandably, that the United States boycott the Games," Romney wrote in an opinion article for The New York Times on Monday.
"China deserves our condemnation. The Chinese Communist Party has reneged on its agreement to allow Hong Kong self rule; it has brutally suppressed peaceful demonstrators and incarcerated respected journalists. It is exacting genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities," he added.
He said that if athletes skip the Games, millions of young Americans at home might skip watching it.
"And the Olympic Games are one of the most enduring demonstrations of the great qualities of the human spirit on the world stage: We witness determination, sacrifice, patriotism, endurance, sportsmanship. We would also lose the global symbolism of our young American heroes standing atop the medals podium, hand to their hearts, as "The Star-Spangled Banner" plays on Chinese soil," Romney stated.
The Senator from Utah wrote that the US should enlist "our friends" around the world to join the economic boycott."Limiting spectators, selectively shaping our respective delegations and refraining from broadcasting Chinese propaganda would prevent China from reaping many of the rewards it expects from the Olympics," Romney wrote.
"American spectators -- other than families of our athletes and coaches -- should stay at home, preventing us from contributing to the enormous revenues the Chinese Communist Party will raise from hotels, meals and tickets," he continued, adding, "Rather than send the traditional delegation of diplomats and White House officials to Beijing, the president should invite Chinese dissidents, religious leaders and ethnic minorities to represent us."
As reported by The Hill, Republicans have stepped up pressure on the White House in recent weeks over Biden's stance toward China.
Calls to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics have been intensifying steadily due to China's human rights abuses, particularly in the Xinjiang region against the Uyghur Muslims.
"While China continues its grave human rights abuses against Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hongkongers, and others, countries cannot support Beijing 2022 in good conscience. The Uyghur Congress calls upon the international community to commit to a diplomatic boycott," World Uyghur Congress tweeted.
Beijing is going to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics from February 4 - February 20, but a shadow looms over its successful organisation due to global condemnation over its repressive policies on Tibetans, Uyghurs and coronavirus pandemic.
While China seems unlikely to even pay lip service to the idea of liberalisation this time around, foreign governments will also be far more sceptical of any possible gains, after patting themselves on the back ahead of 2008 only to be embarrassed when few of the supposed concessions were realised.
Recently, Canada's main opposition party -- the Conservative Party -- on Tuesday urged the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau-led government to pressure the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics out of Beijing, arguing China is committing genocide against more than one million Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
This comes after a coalition of 180 human rights groups has urged governments around the world to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympic Games slated for next year due to China's reported human rights abuses towards minorities.
China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
Beijing, on the other hand, has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party's brutal crackdown on the ethnic communi