Source: J. Robert Smith
This February will see U.S. participation in the winter Olympics at Beijing. The games will occur amid the knowledge that Xi Jinping is committing some of the most appalling human rights abuses on the planet. A million Uighurs are being persecuted, as are Falun Gong practitioners. Hongkongers have had their liberties crushed. Since Joe Biden’s election, Xi is increasingly menacing Taiwan.
In 2018, Xi named himself “president for life,” and has been busy returning China — an authoritarian state as-is — to totalitarianism. Xi continues to make unwarranted claims on the South and East China Seas, militarizing these international waters. Both are vital to the U.S. and global trade. Imagine Mexico or the U.S. claiming the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean as territorial waters. Xi is growing more bellicose, threatening Asia Pacific nations, including U.S. allies Australia, Japan, and South Korea, among others.
The Biden administration’s diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics is an empty gesture. It signals weakness, not strength. An apex predator like Xi only respects actions that have real teeth.
Withdrawing American athletes from the games is the only way to impress Xi with U.S. seriousness and resolve in the face of his growing militancy and tyranny. U.S. government officials’ lack of presence in Beijing doesn’t scratch. However, America’s conspicuous absence from the games would reverberate across China and the world.
Xi and the Chinese Communist Party are evil. History will judge us harshly for sending our athletes to Beijing.
While the NBA and LeBron James have cozied up to Xi and Chinese oligarchs — mainland China is a lucrative market for the pro game — Boston Celtics’ star Enes Kanter Freedom has been outspoken in calling for a Beijing games boycott. The NBA has tried to silence him.
Kanter Freedom recently spoke out about the disappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai and American companies like Nike, which manufacture products in China and/or make robust profits on the mainland. The PRC is known to use slave and sweatshop labor in manufacturing.
Shuai publicly accused a top Communist Party leader of sexual assault and has gone missing since. To its credit, in retaliation, the international Women’s Tennis Association declared that it would end all play in China.
Among various statements about PRC human rights abuses, Kanter Freedom has spoken out boldly about the Uighurs’ treatment. From Fox News, via Real Clear Politics, December 5:
[Kanter-Freedom] also called on athletes to boycott the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Beijing over the issue of slave labor of East Turkestani Uygurs in Xinjiang.
The past is prologue, as they say. The PRC’s persecution of Tibetans and its murderous Cultural Revolution are indicative of the PRC today. Mao was the greatest mass killer in recorded history, which says a lot since his contemporaries were Stalin and Hitler. Yet, this greatest all-time butcher is venerated by Xi’s Leninist party.
Xi is waging relentless persecution of the Uighurs in Xinjiang Province. An untold number are in concentration camps — or, per euphemisms, “detention or internment camps.” Xi is not only exploiting Uighurs for slave labor but seeing the sterilization and rape of Uighur women.
Even CNN has reported on the communist regime’s torture of Uighurs, October 5:
In a three-hour interview with CNN, conducted in Europe where [the former Chinese detective] is now in exile, Jiang revealed rare details on what he described as a systematic campaign of torture against ethnic Uyghurs in the region’s detention camp system, claims China has denied for years.
Many U.S. companies are among those accused of directly benefitting from Uighur slave labor.
From the Daily Caller, December 30, 2020:
Apple, which has said that it is committed to donating to organizations that “challenge racial injustice and mass incarceration,” is not the only company to come under scrutiny for its links to slave labor. In a spring 2020 report titled “Uyghurs For Sale,” the Australian Strategic Policy Institute found that at least 83 popular, household-name brands are “potentially directly or indirectly benefiting from the use of Uyghur workers outside Xinjiang through abusive labour transfer programs as recently as 2019.”
The report listed popular clothing companies Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Gap, Calvin Klein, H&M, L.L.Bean, Lacoste, Nike, The North Face, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, Skechers, Tommy Hilfiger, Zara, and Victorias Secret, as well as General Motors, Goertek, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagon, and more. Many of these companies prolifically spoke out against racial injustice following the death of George Floyd in May.
Boycotts of brands that profit off human rights abuses in China should be launched. American manufacturers in the PRC need to return their facilities
to the U.S. or move operations to nations free from cruel labor exploitation. If these enterprises elect not to do so, then public pressure is required.
The Uighurs are Muslims, which should set off alarm bells among American “progressives.” After all, progressives made quite a fuss about the threat of “Islamophobia” in the wake of 9/11. They raised the specter of discrimination against, maltreatment of, or hate crimes toward Muslims in the U.S. That alarm proved false. There was no widespread animus directed against American Muslims.
Yet, most progressives are muted in their criticisms of China’s human rights violations. Why? Follow the money. Woke American corporations and their investors are getting rich off slave and sweatshop labor in the PRC. Championing human rights is welcomed as long as it doesn’t interfere with wealth accumulation.
In a series of disturbing reports from the Epoch Times, beginning September 30 under the headline, “Forced Organ Harvesting is Medical Genocide for Profit,” Anders Corr reported:
“The CCP’s aim is to eradicate, to physically eliminate people because of their spiritual beliefs — these prisoners of conscience — such as Christians, Tibetans, Buddhists, and especially the millions of Falun Gong practitioners. The priority objective is their elimination, their eradication, and this logically has the connotations of a crime of genocide,” he said.
According to Theresa Chu, a lawyer with the Taiwan Falun Gong Attorney Group, “Forced organ harvesting is not only used to carry out the… genocide of Falun Gong practitioners and ethnic minority groups, such as Uyghurs, but also implicated in massive economic profits from organ transplantation, transnational organ sale, transplant tourism, and organ brokerage.”
Per the Epoch Times report, estimates range as high as a million souls victimized by the PRC’s gruesome organ harvesting enterprise. Many billions of dollars in revenue are believed to have been generated for PRC hospitals and the government.
Rationalizations for U.S. participation in the Beijing Olympics abound. We need to display American values in Beijing, goes one argument. Another is that U.S. athletes have worked long and hard for this chance. As Kanter Freedom remarked, the choice between principle and rights, on the one hand, and medals on the other is a no-brainer.
Challenging the PRC over its human rights abuses takes moral clarity and strength of character that Joe Biden appears to lack. Hunter Biden’s dealings with the PRC, Russia, Ukraine, and others — in what amounts to influence-peddling schemes — point to Joe Biden being significantly compromised. Slaps on Xi’s wrist may be all that Biden can muster.
The world is a darkening place. The flame of liberty and human rights needs to again blaze brightly on these shores. It’s that light that will guide us and all those across the globe who look to us for hope through the treacherous days ahead to better times.