House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered her two cents about athletes practicing freedom of speech while participating in the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
“I would say to our athletes, you’re there to compete,” she remarked on Thursday. “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,” Pelosi said. “But I also worry about what the Chinese government might do to their reputations, to their families.”
“Participate, let us celebrate from abroad,” she continued during a Congressional-Executive Commission on China hearing. “And don’t risk thinking that there are any good intentions on the part of the People’s Republic of China government, because there are none.”
The stark warning comes after two-time gold medalist Yang Yang, the Chinese chair of the Winter Olympics Athletes’ Commission” stated that “athletes need to be responsible for what they say,” while representing their countries in communist China.
Pelosi warned that the Chinese government would try to distract the world “from a decades long campaign of abuse and repression” during the Olympic Games.
“The People’s Republic of China is perpetrating a campaign of gross human rights violations, including genocide. Over the next two weeks it is our urgent moral duty to shine a bright light on the many human rights violations being perpetrated by the host nation.”
“While we fully support and will root for our athletes, we cannot and will not be silent on human rights in China,” Pelosi continued, pointing out that China repeatedly tried to cover up the genocide of the Uyghur people.
She slammed the International Olympics Committee for choosing a “country like China” to host the Olympics.
“But they have and we wish all the athletes well,” Pelosi summed up. “We wish them safety, and that safety includes… Don’t for one moment believe anything the Chinese government might tell you about freedom of expression. You take a risk, be safe.