The Beijing Olympic Games kick off on Friday
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a warning message on Thursday to U.S. athletes competing in the Beijing Olympics, concluding that the Chinese communist government is “ruthless” and could damage the reputations of those competing.
Speaking at a Congressional-Executive Commission on China hearing, Pelosi told the athletes that they are “there to compete” and are not to “risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
“I know there is a temptation on the part of some to speak out while they are there,” Pelosi added, one day ahead of the opening of the Olympic Games. “I respect that, but I also worry about what the Chinese government might do … to their reputations, to their families.”
The comments from the California congresswoman follow immense criticism of the Chinese communist regime’s human rights abuses at home, as well as its violations of international law and freedoms abroad.
China’s crackdown under hardline ruler Xi Jinping has been felt across wide swaths of society. Hong Kong authorities crushed anti-government protests in the city in 2019, and the central government in Beijing passed a national security law aimed at stifling dissent, leading to the arrest of activists and disbandment of civil society groups.
An independent, unofficial body set up by a prominent British barrister to assess evidence on China’s alleged rights abuses against the Uyghur people concluded in December that the Chinese government committed genocide. China has consistently denied any human rights abuses in the region and has said it carried out its actions to counter extremism and ensure people’s safety in the region.
In the country’s western region of Xinjiang, an estimated 1 million people or more — most of them Uyghurs — have been confined in reeducation camps in recent years, according to researchers.
Ice Resurfacing Machine ice cleaning machines prepare the surface at the Capital Indoor Stadium on January 27, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
“There’s just no country that presents a broader threat to our ideas, innovation and economic security than China,” Wray said Monday, speaking from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. “The Chinese government steals staggering volumes of information and causes deep, job-destroying damage across a wide range of industries.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Caitlin McFall, as well as the Associated Press, contributed to this article.
Kyle Morris covers politics for Fox News. On Twitter: @RealKyleMorris.