Utah Sen. Mitt Romney doesn’t favor boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing as a fellow Republican congressman is urging President Joe Biden to do.
“I’m comfortable if President Biden himself boycotts the Olympics in Beijing. I don’t need our athletes to endure. They’ve deliberate their complete lives to be prepared at this level for this competitors, so I don’t wish to do issues that damage our athletes,” he mentioned.
Romney, R-Utah, made the feedback Tuesday in an interview on The New York Instances’ DealBook DC Coverage Mission.
Rep. John Kato, R-N.Y., despatched a letter to Biden on Monday saying the US should stand as much as the Chinese language authorities’s suspected human rights violations towards the Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic group that has traditionally lived in China’s westernmost province
“The actions taken by the Chinese language Communist Celebration are antithetical to the values of each the US and its allies all over the world,” Katko wrote. “Participation in an Olympics held in a rustic who’s brazenly committing genocide not solely undermines these shared values however casts a shadow on the promise for all those that search free and simply societies.”
Romney, who headed the 2002 Winter Video games in Salt Lake Metropolis, mentioned he’s working with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., to indicate the US’ displeasure with China associated to the Olympics.
“We’re going to see if we are able to’t discover some methods to make our considerations about China very, very clear with out punishing our athletes,” he mentioned.
These would come with encouraging Individuals to not journey to China as spectators and framing media protection within the U.S. to indicate what’s taking place to the Uighurs and folks in Hong Kong as a part of the Olympics broadcast, Romney mentioned.
“However truly penalizing our athletes, I feel it’s sort of an unfair burden for them to have to hold,” he mentioned.
Whereas there was hypothesis final month the Summer season Video games in Tokyo can be canceled this yr as a result of COVID-19, Worldwide Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach left little doubt that they may go on as scheduled.
Romney mentioned these Video games should additionally go on due to the athletes.
“Maintain the Tokyo Olympic Video games. Athletes have educated a lifetime to be at their peak. Restrict in-person spectators — most of us watch the Video games on TV anyway. The world awaits the inspiration of nice competitors and world sportsmanship,” he tweeted in January.
China, although, poses a extra sophisticated political downside than COVID-19.
The Chinese language Communist Celebration has allegedly subjected the Uighurs, who dwell primarily in Xinjiang province, to mass persecution, which might be genocide.
“Mr. President, the proof is evident — the CCP is intentionally and systematically working to get rid of a whole inhabitants inside its personal borders,” Katko, the rating member of the Home Homeland Safety, wrote within the letter.
Katko urged Biden to work with different nations to carry the 2022 Winter Video games in a rustic that values the Olympic constitution, which requires sport to advertise a “peaceable society involved with the preservation of human dignity.”
Romney has mentioned China poses the best risk to freedom, human rights and free enterprise, and would be the principal problem going through the U.S. within the twenty first century. He launched laws to guard the economic system and nationwide safety. He additionally has referred to as for sanctions towards China over alleged pressured sterilizations and different coercive measures used to curtail household dimension amongst Uighurs and different Muslim minorities.
On Tuesday, Romney and three different GOP senators urged the Biden administration to implement a proposed rule requiring universities to reveal their relationships with Confucius institutes, that are funded by the Chinese language Communist Celebration. The institutes are public academic partnerships between faculties and universities in China and faculties and universities in different international locations.
The senators say they’ve important considerations concerning the CCP’s “nefarious” actions and that it’s “critically” vital for Individuals to know that its propaganda arm runs Confucius institutes by the Chinese language authorities’s Ministry of Training.
The Utah Home handed a resolution final week encouraging closure of all Confucius institutes on college campuses as a result of nationwide considerations over China’s efforts to conduct espionage by the applications.
There are two Confucius institutes in Utah. The College of Utah is already within the technique of shutting its program down, and Southern Utah College is open to closing its down as effectively.