During a Sunday night guest appearance on Fox News Channel, Rep. Chris Stewart was asked by former congressman Trey Gowdy whether the U.S. should boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
”At a minimum, we should do that,” Stewart said bluntly.
President Joe Biden announced a diplomatic boycott of the Games to protest China’s human rights abuses, which means no U.S. government representatives will attend the Games, which begin in February. The United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia also say they will keep their diplomatic delegations home from the Games. The diplomatic boycott does not prevent athletes from competing.
Stewart seemed to be suggesting a total boycott of the Games to stand up to China.
”China has certain ambitions, and they’re very clear about it. They’re very clear they intend to be the dominant world power economically, militarily, diplomatically, and they’re moving methodically toward that goal,” Stewart said. “At some point, we have to be willing to confront them on that.”
In 1980, the U.S. boycotted the Summer Olympic Games in Moscow to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Most Soviet Bloc countries retaliated with a boycott of the 1984 games in Los Angeles.
Stewart’s spokesperson did not respond to an email asking to clarify whether he favored a total boycott of the Games.
Stewart took the opportunity to bash the Biden administration for failing to stand up to China and human rights abuses against the Uyghur population in China.
”There’s legislation in Congress that does one simple thing. It says we will not allow you to export products that are made with slave labor. We’re not going to let you take the Uyghurs, put them in concentration camps, force them to work, and then buy those products. This administration is pushing back on that legislation. Why? Because they’re afraid that China won’t come to the table for a climate change deal,” Stewart said.
Human rights groups claim China has detained more than one million Uyghurs against their will, using them as forced labor. The U.S. and other countries have accused China of committing genocide against the Uyghurs and other mostly-Muslim ethnic populations.
That bill passed the House last week on a 428-1 vote.
“I think it’s nonsense that we’re going to say we’ll import slave labor products because we’re so afraid of China not working with climate change. By the way, China cares not at all about climate change. They’ll never be serious about that,” Stewart said. “It’s a terrible message to send.”