Home>Congress>Seeking to pull ’22 Olympics from Beijing, Smith pushes U.S. sponsors to speak up

Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-Hamilton). (Photo: Chris Smith).

Seeking to pull ’22 Olympics from Beijing, Smith pushes U.S. sponsors to speak up

GOP congressman says Coca-Cola, others are dodging moral issues of genocide

By Ashley Gallagher, July 28 2021 12:25 pm

Representatives of six major U.S. Corporations sidestepped questions from Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) about pulling the 2022 Olympic games from China over human rights issues during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

The companies — Coca-Cola, Visa, Airbnb, Intel, and Procter & Gamble — are all sponsors of the Olympic games.

“In China, we not only see genocide and concentration camps directed against Uyghurs and Kazakhs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in particular, but also the ongoing eradication of the culture of Tibet, the harvesting of organs of Falun Gong practitioners, the destruction of Christian churches and the dismantling of freedom in Hong Kong,” said Smith.

The corporations deftly avoided Smith’s question’s on whether or not the games should be moved due the Beijing genocide.

“We have no responsibility in the site selection,” said Andrea Fairchild, the senior vice president of Global Sponsorship and Strategy for VISA.

Smith slammed the corporations saying that it is “business as usual when it comes to China.”

“To now have major U.S. companies all affirming the decision to hold the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing is aiding and abetting the crowning of a barbarous regime with laurels while we should be condemning their abuse and genocide,” said Smith.

Smith asked the executives “how they can reconcile their ostensible commitment to human rights with subsidizing an Olympics held in a country which is actively committing human rights abuses up to and including genocide.”

“Moral posturing notwithstanding, they need to squarely address why we should not conclude that their motive is the short-term pursuit of profit, and not the loftier aspirations their submissions are cloaked in,” he said.

Smith, a 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.

This month, 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.  The 20-term congressman has said he plans to seek a roll call vote of the full U.S. House of Representatives.

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