This week, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) spoke on the Senate floor about how the world cannot overlook the bad behavior of the Chinese Communist Party as China hosts the 2022 Winter Olympics.
“A nation is hosting a storied athletic competition, but that nation erases its own athletes for telling embarrassing truths about its government.
“The history, distant and recent, of the Chinese communist government is one of inhumanity, ruthless violation of the most basic human rights, and aggression towards America and its allies.
“The Olympic Games in Beijing, spit and polished, even carbon neutral, may present the face of a humane and caring world power…but we are not fooled.
“We see through the charade: a slave state hosting the Olympics…its participants wearing uniforms made by Uyghurs tortured and toiling in labor camps,” said Senator Young during his speech.
Over the last two weeks, Senator Young has highlighted the CCP’s actions with a social media campaign titled “#BeijingBehavingBadly.” Last week, Senator Young discussed this campaign on Fox News and CNN.
To watch the full floor speech, click here.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Mr. President, in an effort the make the Internet “healthy, happy, and peaceful” the Chinese government recently clamped down on what it deems as online “bad behavior.”
Beijing knows all about bad behavior.
If behaving badly was an Olympic competition, China would take the gold, silver and bronze.
Speaking of the Olympics…
Last week the Olympic Cauldron was lit in the Chinese capital by a Uyghur torchbearer.
It was a spectacular opening ceremony, with thousands of participants filling the Bird’s Nest.
Its chorography was innovative, its artistry unprecedented as China sought to portray itself to the world not as it is but as they want to be seen.
There was an LED floor below, brilliant fireworks overhead. Children danced, sang and raised glowing doves.
The theme was socially conscious and environmentally aware.
The Chinese flag was passed through the hands of people representing the diversity within China and it was raised where it billowed proudly…even though there wasn’t a breeze.
And not a single American government official was there to see any of it.
We sent our regrets to the CCP, refused to join in the Xi Jinping Games.
Let a few of the reasons why be submitted candidly to the world.
A million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz are locked away in gulags, raped, tortured with electric batons, sterilized, forced into abortions…all in an effort to eradicate these religious and ethnic minorities, not just from Xinjiang but from the face of the earth.
Taiwan’s sovereignty is continually threated, with Chinese aircraft streaking across its skies.
Hong Kong’s democracy is strangled.
There and across the CCP’s domain, dissidents, whistleblowers and protestors are apprehended, imprisoned without trial, persecuted and reeducated…free speech and expression stifled and censored, religious freedom denied.
A virus recklessly unleashed on the world, upturning our lives, killing our most vulnerable, closing our businesses, damaging our economy, dividing our people.
A nation is hosting a storied athletic competition, but that nation erases its own athletes for telling embarrassing truths about its government.
The history, distant and recent, of the Chinese communist government is one of inhumanity, ruthless violation of the most basic human rights, and aggression towards America and its allies.
The Olympic Games in Beijing, spit and polished, even carbon neutral, may present the face of a humane and caring world power…
But we are not fooled.
We see through the charade: a slave state hosting the Olympics…its participants wearing uniforms made by Uyghurs tortured and toiling in labor camps.
We see the authoritarian regime behind (what the dissident artist Ai Weiei calls) “China’s fake smile.”
And we are leading by example. The CCP has the world stage, but we are not in the audience.
Our athletes are in Beijing though.
They are on the ice and in the snow, on the slopes and in the arena.
And they should be.
They have worked their entire lives for this moment.
They are seizing it while we root them on.
I want America’s Olympians to bring back every single gold medal.
But I also want our athletes to know what the Chinese government might have in store for them.
So here are a few hopefully helpful words for our American Olympians.
Keep an eye on your bank account.
When you buy a meal or a souvenir in Beijing, you will be forced to pay for it with the CCP’s digital yuan.
The Chinese government claims the system creates more efficient payments across its economy.
But it’s also a way of keeping tabs on your transactions, and watching what you buy. Be aware.
Think twice about what you buy in Beijing.
The International Olympic Committee made no effort to stop the sale of apparel made with forced labor.
Not only will China’s Olympic team be wearing uniforms likely produced by slave labor, but official Olympic garments could be coming from the same oppressed source.
Don’t be fooled by uncensoring.
The CCP erases any unflattering but accurate portrayals of itself on the internet.
With the world watching, it is now promising to lower the Great Firewall allowing athletes and the press open access to the internet through SIM cards.
China’s own citizens are afforded no such privilege.
Hopefully you brought a burner phone and left your personal devices at home.
Keep an eye out for your fellow athletes.
Tennis star Peng Shuai disappeared in November after accusing a Chinese official of sexual assault.
Her peers and the Women’s Tennis Association called for action — an extraordinary show of solidarity.
But after Peng was seen in a video, the world moved on, much to China’s delight.
We may never know how many Chinese athletes live under fear from their oppressive government.
Journalists, by the way, should be on guard too.
There is no freedom of the press in China.
Reporters are regularly harassed, censored, and surveilled. In 2021, China jailed 50 journalists – more than any other nation.
During the 2008 summer Games in Beijing, there were at least 30 cases of CCP officials interfering with reporting and assaulting journalists.
And that was when China was truly concerned about making a positive impression across the world.
Lastly, and most importantly, to all America’s athletes, don’t forget this: your country is behind you.
By boycotting the Olympics, our government is shining a light on the CCP’s abuse of its citizens and disregard for the rest of the world.
By competing in the Olympics, our athletes are showing what a free people from an open society are capable of.
Remember, the Olympics have long been a forum for American victory at the expense of authoritarians’ pride.
They were an early front in the war against fascism.
Jesse Owens won four Gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin while Hitler looked on, humiliated, his delusion of Aryan superiority burst.
When Owens stood on the podium after winning the long jump, he was surrounded by Sieg Heils – but he stood taller and higher than all of them, saluting Old Glory.
But it was Cornelius “Corny” Johnson who was the first Black American to earn gold in Berlin, winning the high jump.
The silver went to Dave Albritton, another American, who was also black. Delos Thurbur, yet another American, won the bronze.
Hitler refused to meet with or congratulate any of them.
When they took the podium, all three offered their own protest to the dictator: the Bellamy salute – the palm-out salute of the American flag named for Francis Bellamy, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Olympics were a battleground in the Cold War as well:
In 1980, the unheralded and rag-tag American hockey team upset the four-time gold medal-winning Soviets.
Two days later, they defeated Finland and won the gold.
Russia had just invaded Afghanistan. America’s economy was in recession.
The victory not only shocked the world, it lifted our nation and sunk the Soviets’ spirits.
The Russian hockey players didn’t even bother to have their silver medals engraved, they were so angry about losing to America.
Now in 2022, another act in a global power competition will take place at the Olympics.
America and the free west against the communist Chinese government. It’s part of the contest that will define this century.
Show the CCP that the future belongs to the free, that authoritarian governments always fail the people trapped under them.
Make Xi Jinping and the Chinese authorities hear the Star-Spangled Banner and see the Stars and Stripes again and again.
We are cheering you on and will be waiting for you when you come home decorated in gold.
Good luck to Team USA and God Bless America.