Bejing is set to host the Olympics starting in early February. The U.S. government and advocacy groups have accused China of persecuting Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims and using them for forced labor in the Chinese region of Xinjiang.
“It’s not just a sports event. The Chinese government is using the event to showcase the country to legitimize the standing of the country, to legitimize its policies, including the many human rights abuses,” Yaqiu Wang, a senior China researcher with Human Rights Watch, told Fox News.
“To be part of that is to be used as a tool by the Chinese Communist Party to legitimize its abuses. Including the situation in Xinjiang,” Wang said. “That is why the rest of the world should stay away from the Olympic Games.”
With the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics less than a month away, Human Rights Watch has ramped up its boycott of the games. It’s pressured Olympic sponsors to use their influence as business partners with the Chinese government to stop the county’s persecution of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and activists in Hong Kong and to reform its policies regarding Tibet and Taiwan.
Sponsors under The Olympic Partner program include 13 major companies, such as Visa, Bridgestone, Omega, Proctor & Gamble and Samsung.
“We wrote to each of them, including Airbnb, Coca-Cola, Allianz,” Wang said. “I mean, they are bankrolling the Beijing Olympics.”