Following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) warning to U.S. athletes participating in the Olympic Games in Beijing against speaking out on China’s human rights abuses, Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) slammed her “absolutely shameful” admonition, which he described as a “cave to the intimidation and censorship of the Chinese Communist Party.”
In an exclusive statement made to Breitbart News on Friday, Republican Rep. Mike Waltz, a Florida native representing the Sunshine State’s 6th congressional district, accused Pelosi of capitulating to China.
“It’s absolutely shameful Speaker Pelosi would admonish our athletes to cave to the intimidation and censorship of the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
Having long opposed allowing Beijing to host the games, he argued that U.S. Olympians shouldn’t have been compelled to compromise on their values in the first place, while calling on government officials to speak out against the Chinese government’s human rights abuses and insisting on changes to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
“American athletes should have never been forced to compromise their values by competing in Beijing,” he said. “Our leaders in government should be using their positions to call out the atrocities being carried out by the CCP and using their influence to demand immediate reforms to the IOC.”
On Thursday, speaking at Congressional-Executive Commission on China hearing, Pelosi said the U.S. has an “urgent moral duty to shine a bright light” on China’s human rights abuses.
However, despite scolding the IOC for turning a blind eye to China’s “decades-long campaign of abuse and repression” about which “we cannot and will not be silent,” she urged U.S. athletes attending the games to “compete” rather than criticize the Chinese government.
“I would say to our athletes: you are there to compete,” she said. “Do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless.”
“I know there is a temptation on the part of some to speak out while they are there; I respect that,” she added. “But, I also worry about what the Chinese government might do to their reputations, to their families.”
In response, the 81-year-old Pelosi received significant backlash from Republican lawmakers online.
“Pelosi can bend the knee to China. But our American athletes have free speech rights and should never be told to surrender them,” wrote Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).
“The U.S. should be BACKING UP athletes using their freedom of self-expression to expose the Beijing communists for the murderers they are, NOT telling them to hide,” wrote Rep. Carlos A. Gimenez (R-FL).
“Americans [don’t] cower to communists,” he added. “We defeat them.”
As revealed by Breitbart News senior contributor Peter Schweizer in his recently released book, Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win, Pelosi softened her previous criticisms of China’s communist regime as her husband and son scored big business deals in China.
The world’s premier watchdog organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW), states China is still one of the worst abusers of human rights worldwide.
In its 2018 report, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the world’s premier watchdog organization, reported that China “dramatically stepped up repression and systematic abuses against the 13 million Turkic Muslims, including Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs, in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region.”
“Authorities have carried out mass arbitrary detention, torture, and mistreatment of some of them in various detention facilities, and increasingly imposed pervasive controls on daily life,” the group wrote. The report continued:
New regulations in Tibet now criminalize even traditional forms of social action, including community mediation by religious figures. In Hong Kong, a region promised ‘a high degree of autonomy” under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the Chinese and Hong Kong governments hastened their efforts in 2018 to undermine people’s rights to free speech and political participation.
The organization also cited China’s oppression of homosexuals, refugees, asylum seekers, and females.
Rep. Waltz has led the effort to introduce a resolution calling for a full boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics “back in February before it became cool,” after initially pressing for altering the games’ venue.
Last month, Rep. Waltz condemned American corporate sponsorship of the “Genocide” Games, accusing supporting companies of hypocritically preaching social justice while “cower[ing] to authoritarians.”
“There is clear hypocrisy among corporate America who preach social justice here at home but cower to authoritarians like the Chinese Communist Party to protect their bottom line,” he said.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.