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Intel turns blind eye to Chinese Communist Party genocide for Beijing Olympics sponsorship

File photo of Intel office. (Photo by Randy L. Rasmussen, The Oregonian/TNS, Released)
February 09, 2022

The U.S. semiconductor chip maker Intel, which claims human rights are “rooted” in the company’s values, is sponsoring the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Olympics this month as party leaders facilitate genocide of Uyghurs in the nation’s Xinjiang region.

The sponsorship comes in spite of the fact that Intel’s own website states, “At Intel, we are committed to maintaining and improving systems and processes to avoid complicity in human rights violations related to our own operations, our supply chain, and our products.”

Intel specifically lists workforce diversity and nondiscrimination, harassment prohibition, prevention of human trafficking, forced labor and child labor, privacy and freedom of expression as core aspects of the company’s principles. 

However, when it comes to the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses and genocide – including disappearing journalists, forced labor, surveillance and censorship – Intel has appeared to make an exception. 

American Military News asked Intel how it can maintain its human rights policy as a sponsor of the Beijing Olympics in China, where the Chinese Communist Party is committing human rights abuses and genocide against minorities in Xinjiang, but Intel did not return the request for comment. 

For years, the CCP has been systematically suppressing minorities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and is known as one of the worst human rights violators in the world. Witnesses to the abuse have provided grim accounts of killings, torture, rape, enslavement, forced separation of children from their parents, forced sterilization and abortion, enforced disappearances, and destruction of cultural and religious heritage.

China expert Adrian Zenz characterized China’s suppression of Muslim Uyghurs – which has reportedly impacted over 1.5 million people – as “probably the largest incarceration of an ethnoreligious minority since the Holocaust.”

Adding to Intel’s apparent abandonment of its human rights principles when it comes to the CCP, the company removed all references to China’s Xinjiang region last month after drawing backlash from China for warning suppliers to avoid sourcing materials from the region.

During a hearing before Congress’ Commission on China last year, a representative for Intel said the company is “proud” to sponsor the Olympics, including the Winter Games in Beijing. 

Steve Rodgers, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Intel Corporation, claimed the chipmaker has an “unwavering commitment to human rights.”

“We are mindful, of course, of potential human rights concerns that may exist in host countries and in connection with preparing for Mega Sporting Events. We do not believe our sponsorship degrades our global commitment to human rights. Our sponsorship is not an endorsement of any specific host country or its government, nor an acceptance or approval of domestic activities that may take place within that country,” Rodgers said.