Exclusive – Beijing Olympics Boycott Organizer: ‘If America Shows Weakness, Freedom Will Be Lost’

BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 19: A young Chinese children play at Yanqing Ice Festival on January 19, 2016 in Beijing, China. Chinese cities Beijing and Zhangjiakou won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games on July 31, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Lintao Zhang/Getty

Allowing the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to occur unchallenged will inspire a genocidal regime to escalate its violence against ethnic minorities, Hidetoshi Ishii, the vice president of the Free Indo-Pacific Alliance, told Breitbart News this week.

Ishii’s organization is among over 150 groups calling for a global boycott of the 2022 Winter Games in response to China’s construction and maintenance of over 1,000 concentration camps for Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities, its repression of Tibetans and Inner Mongolians, and the Communist Party’s litany of human rights atrocities. The initial call to boycott the games – an open letter to the global community and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – occurred last week, a year to the day that the Games are scheduled to take place.

“Anything less” than a global boycott, the groups warned in their open letter, “will be seen as an endorsement of the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian rule and blatant disregard for civil and human rights.”

China has responded to the movement by calling the coalition “a band of disordered people” and threatening unspecified repercussions for any nation that chooses to boycott.

At a press conference last week, Ishii emphasized the importance of the administration of President Joe Biden supporting the boycott. Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken has publicly called the atrocities against the Uyghur people in western Xinjiang, China, a “genocide,” agreeing with predecessor Mike Pompeo.

In remarks to Breitbart News, Ishii asserted that, without American leadership, the greater cause of individual freedom is unlikely to succeed – in addition to the boycott itself.

“Right now, the world is divided into the free world and the totalitarian world. America is the leader of the free world. It’s important for the world that America is a strong country holding the principle of freedom highly,” Ishii told Breitbart News. “If America shows weakness towards totalitarian and autocratic countries, then freedom will be lost from this world. We need [a] strong America that’s holding the principle of freedom highly.”

Ishii also noted that boycotting the Beijing Olympics would not only make a statement in favor of racial and ethnic equality – given the extremely discriminatory policies of the host country – but one in favor of women’s rights, a topic that became a source of controversy for Olympics officials this month when the head of the committee organizing the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics complained that women cause meetings to be too long.

Yoshiro Mori offered to resign as Olympics chief last week after calling women in meetings “annoying.” China has not offered to relinquish hosting duties after a BBC report found extensive evidence of systematic, daily use of gang rape and electricity in sexual torture against Uyghur women. Instead, Beijing claimed that all concentration camp survivors testifying to their experiences are hired actors, offering no evidence for this claim. China also banned the BBC from broadcasting in the country.

“As BBC reported last week, it was exposed that Uyghur women are raped in concentration camps and also forcibly sterilized. There are Uyghur women that put themselves on media and testify,” Ishii told Breitbart News. “This problem is something we can never tolerate. However, in my country Japan for example, it doesn’t seem like feminists are raising voice on this issue. They were enthusiastically attacking the Tokyo Olympics Chief, Yoshiro Mori, for his so-called sexist comment enough to make him resign, though.”

“If [the] Beijing Olympics succeeds with no problems, leaders in the Chinese government will have more confidence, thinking that what they’re doing is right,” Ishii warned.

Ishii noted that the coalition seeking a boycott of the Games in Beijing has not yet, at press time, received any communications from the U.S. government, any American athletes, or the IOC.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in early February that the Biden administration was not even considering boycotting the Games, despite Blinken affirming that the Biden administration considers China guilty of genocide.

“We’re not currently talking about changing our posture or our plans as it relates to the Beijing Olympics,” she said, according to Reuters. “We consult, of course, closely with allies and partners at all levels to define our common concerns and establish a shared approach, but there is no discussion underway of a change in our plans from the United States at this point in time.”

In contrast, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had hinted that the Trump administration would have considered a formal boycott of the event.

Republican Congressman Mike Waltz (R-FL) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives on Monday demanding the Biden administration boycott the Games. The draft, according to Fox News, states that American athletes “cannot in good conscience” participate in an event hosted by a genocidal government. It urged the Biden administration to, rather than deprive the athletes of a chance to compete, “propose the transfer of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to a site other than within the People’s Republic of China.”

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