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Senator Bob Menendez. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Menendez backs Biden’s diplomatic boycott on 2022 Winter Olympics

Senate Foreign Relations chairman lauds Biden for ‘forcefully underscoring that the preservation of human rights is still a foundational pillar of American foreign policy’

By David Wildstein, December 06 2021 11:43 am

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez is supporting President Joe Biden’s plan to impose a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, calling it a “powerful rebuke of the Chinese Communist Party’s campaign of genocide in Xinjiang.”

“As we laid out in our bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, this boycott is a necessary step to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to human rights in the face of the Chinese government’s unconscionable abuses, “Menendez said.  “I applaud the Biden administration for forcefully underscoring that the preservation of human rights is still a foundational pillar of American foreign policy.”

Menendez wants U.S. Allies to “share our values to join with the United States in this diplomatic boycott.”

“As the CCP continues with its mass internments, family separations, forced labor, forced renunciations of faith, and forced sterilizations, the world must be united in confronting the staggering enormity of Beijing’s egregious human rights violations and hold those who perpetuate these atrocities to account,” the New Jersey senator said.

Menendez has been a frequent critic of human rights abuses by the Chinese government, including actions in Tibet, overwhelming autonomy in Hong Kong, and the genocide in Uyghur.

Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the ranking member of the Congressional Executive Commission on China, has been a fierce critic about China’s human rights policies.   He has been banned from China with sanctions by the Chinese government.

Earlier this year, Smith sought to amend the EAGLE Act to force the Biden administration to work out an alternate plan for the 2022 Olympic games currently scheduled to be held in Beijing in opposition to China’s human rights policies.

In a vote along party lines, the Democratic majority on the House Foreign Affairs Committee rejected Smith’s proposal.

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