Nikki Haley, the former Republican governor of South Carolina and former U.N. Ambassador under President Donald Trump, is publicly calling on President Joe Biden to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, to be hosted in Beijing, China.
In an emailed statement to American Military News, Haley’s Stand For American PAC said U.S. participation in the Olympic games would serve to overlook a range of Chinese human rights abuse allegations and advance China’s “massive communist propaganda campaign.”
Haley listed several human rights concerns surrounding China that she warned would be validated by U.S. participation in the Olympic games, including “Genocide. Forced abortions. Rape. Wiping out Hong Kong’s freedom. Threatening Taiwan. And covering up the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak that led to a global pandemic.”
The Stand For America PAC is asking for people to sign a petition urging Biden to boycott the games.
“Let me be clear: If America participates in the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, the Chinese Communist Party will claim it as further proof of China’s good global standing and world leadership,” Haley wrote. “Not only would we be violating our own values, we will be playing a role in empowering China on the global stage. It’s up to us to send a clear message that China’s tyranny and oppression are unacceptable.”
Haley shared that same sentiment in a Fox News op-ed Thursday. “President Biden must make the decision to boycott. It shouldn’t be a tough one.”
“Some will say U.S. athletes should be allowed to compete after years of training. While my heart would break for our great athletes, their concerns must be weighed against the suffering of millions of people, and the millions more under threat,” Haley wrote. “Individual and national athletic glory are not as important as upholding America’s guiding principles.”
“Some will also say a U.S. boycott will have no impact on Beijing,” she added. “This argument shows a lack of understanding about diplomacy. When you let your counterpart get away with genocide, which is literally true of China, you’re negotiating from a position of weakness. If you stand strong on non-negotiable issues, you’re in a position of strength. Ignoring China’s evil actions is no way to stop those actions in the future, much less make progress on other critical security and economic issues.”
Beijing previously hosted the 2008 Summer Olympic games. Haley said Chinese leader Xi Jinping “remembers well the widespread praise China received” from the 2008 games.
Haley is not the only Republican politician to request Biden boycott the Beijing games. In a letter obtained by ABC News, Rep. John Katko (R-NY), the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, wrote, “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.”
In the last full day of the Trump administration, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally declared China’s treatment of the Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang “crimes against humanity” and a “genocide.”
Biden and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken have both called China’s treatment of the Uyghurs “genocide.” During his Senate confirmation hearing Blinken said he agreed with Pompeo’s declaration and “that would be my judgement as well.”