Republican Sen. Rick Scott is requesting a meeting with President Biden and calling for his “immediate attention” to moving the 2022 Winter Olympic Games out of Beijing, citing China’s human rights abuses.
Scott, R-Fla., said “the horrific human rights abuses perpetrated by China’s communist government against its own people cannot be ignored.”
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“Under no circumstance should the global community give Communist China an international platform to whitewash its crimes, which is what will happen if they are allowed to host the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing,” Scott wrote in a letter.
Scott has repeatedly urged the International Olympic Committee to move the games out of China and to a country “that respects basic human rights.”
“I request your immediate attention and the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the horrific human rights atrocities occurring across Communist China and the effort to select a new site for the 2022 Winter Olympics Games,” Scott wrote.
Scott pointed that “more than one million Uyghurs are detained in concentration camps designed to erase their religious and ethnic cultural identities,” and in Hong Kong, “the Chinese Communist Party has worked to strip away the civil liberties of more than five million people.”
“For the past two Congresses, bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate calling on the IOC to move the 2022 games out of Beijing unless the People’s Republic of China demonstrates significant progress in securing fundamental human rights,” Scott wrote. “Unfortunately, Senate Democrats blocked its passage last year. Hundreds of human rights groups have called on the IOC to move the games, and government officials in other Western countries, including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, have shared their concern about giving an international platform to the Chinese Communist Party to spread propaganda.”
Scott is one of a number of Republicans who proposed legislation calling for transparency surrounding the 2022 Olympics, like Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas; and to boycott the games altogether, like Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also urged the U.S. to boycott the Olympic games in China.
But Scott said he wanted “to make very clear that the United States cannot simply boycott the games.”
“Boycotts hurt athletes who have spent their lives training to represent their country on the international stage,” he said. “This is about human rights, which we all have a responsibility to address.”
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“The Olympic Games give the world’s best athletes a chance to represent their countries and unite our nations,” Scott said, adding that they should be on a stage that would “celebrate athletic talent and our shared values.”
“This cannot be achieved if we ignore the grotesque abuses of the Chinese Communist Party and allow the games to be hosted in Beijing, furthering the oppression we all unequivocally condemn,” Scott wrote. “This is also about the safety of all athletes and attendees.”
Scott said that working together, he and the president could “seize this opportunity to show that America is the world’s greatest supporter of freedom, democracy and human rights for all, while preserving the marvel that is and must always be so perfectly captured by the unity created by the Olympic Games.”
Earlier this month, Biden spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time since taking office, and outlined his “core concerns” with China’s “aggressive activities and abuses,” according to senior administration officials.
And a number of Biden administration officials, including Secretary of State Tony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, have signaled that China poses one of the greatest national security threats to the United States. Officials in the Trump administration also warned of China’s national security threat to the U.S. – with many agreeing it is a “bipartisan” issue.
Scott earlier this month also introduced a resolution in the Senate calling on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics out of China and rebid it to another country unless Beijing “immediately addresses its egregious and numerous violations of human rights.”
Scott has been calling for the IOC to move the games from Beijing for over a year.
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on whether Biden will accept a meeting with the senator to discuss the Olympic Games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.