Republican Senators Urge NBC Not To Air 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Two Republican senators wrote an open letter to NBC Universal Dec. 19 urging the network not to air the 2020 Beijing Winter Olympics, citing human rights issues.

Republican Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Josh Hawley of Missouri described China’s human rights abuses against Muslim minorities and ongoing issues with Hong Kong protesters in the letter. The “grave concern” extends to the safety of athletes and tourists attending the event, according to the letter.

“Communist China is one of the greatest human rights abusers in the world, and it presents a threat to the safety and security of every athlete and tourist who will travel to Beijing,” the letter reads. “NBC Universal is faced with an important decision.”

“By overlooking China’s human rights record, you betray your viewers in misleading them about the most important threat facing our values and way of life. Please pick human rights over profits.” (RELATED: China Claims It Arrested 13,000 Uyghur ‘Terrorists’ Since 2014)

The letter continued on to describe an extensive surveillance system set up in China to “spy on and persecute those who criticize the regime.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) previously said it must be “strictly politically neutral” regarding this issue, according to the letter. Scott and Hawley urged NBC to take a different approach and take a stand against China.

The Republicans also requested that the IOC re-think its decision to allow China to host the 2020 Winter Olympics, asking NBC to stand with them on that as well.

The U.S. government has taken stands against China’s human rights issues throughout 2019. The Commerce Department added 28 Chinese firms to a trade blacklist in October, citing the abuse of Muslim minorities.

President Donald Trump also signed legislation into law in November showing American support for Hong Kong protestors.

NBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.