An Update on China’s Human Rights Controversy Ahead of the 2022 Beijing Olympics

With the Beijing Olympics fast approaching, several countries (including the United States, Canada, Japan, and Great Britain) have announced diplomatic boycotts of the 2022 Winter Games over China’s continued maltreatment of its minority Uyghur Muslim population residing mainly in the Xinjiang province

Although Liberty Lexington published a more in-depth report back in April 2021, here are some fast facts and updates regarding the current situation:

For several years, international human rights groups have gathered evidence indicating that roughly two million Uyghurs, an ethnically-Turkish sub community of China’s northwestern region, are being held against their will in over 380 “re-education camps” located throughout the country.

In addition to incarceration and indoctrination, reports indicate that China is implementing widespread forced abortion and sterilization campaigns within the Uyghur community, leading many to label China’s actions as a genocide. These allegations picked up steam in 2021 when a variety of governments (including the United States) endorsed the claim and began implementing sanctions.

China has continually denied the genocide and indicates that their re-education camps are part of an effort to eradicate extremism in the country, despite overwhelming evidence indicating that these detentions are baseless and unjustified.

Although a variety of nations have adopted diplomatic boycotts (meaning no official government delegation will be sent to Beijing come February), corporate sponsors like Coca-Cola, Airbnb, and Procter & Gamble are facing criticism for not following suit. Over 200 groups around the world are pushing for these companies to vacate their sponsorships, but so far the economic importance of China’s markets and the publicity of the Olympics have seemingly compelled the sponsors to continue their partnerships for the 2022 Games.

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