Nikki Haley tells Olympic athletes to ‘pick a side’: ‘There is no in-between’

Nikki Haley is done with wishy-washy responses to China’s horrific human rights violations and she’s done with athletes like Eileen Gu, the San Franciscan who chose to represent China in the Winter Games, stating, there “is no in-between” when it comes to standing for freedom.

“In terms of the citizenship, look, China or the U.S.?” Haley asked in an interview with Real Clear Politics. “You have to pick a side. Period. You’ve got to pick a side because you’re either American or you’re Chinese, and they are two very different countries.”

“Every athlete needs to know when they put their flag on, you’re standing for freedom or you’re standing for human rights abuses,” she added. “There is no in-between.”

Gu, a freestyle skier, chose to compete for her mother’s home country of China in Beijing — a move which garnered her much criticism from Americans, who labeled her a “traitor” on social media.

Ignoring China’s ongoing Uyghur genocide to enjoy the Olympic Games is not something Haley was prepared to do.

“I can’t get the images out of my head of people on their knees blindfolded, knowing what’s about to happen to them,” Haley said, referencing a now-viral photo of Uyghurs, heads shaved and hands bound, at a Xinjiang train station. “I can’t imagine in any way supporting that or propping up China.”

“It’s time for America to wake up and change the way we look at China,” Haley said.

As the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Haley has long been outspoken against China’s history of religious persecution, calling the CCP’s treatment of its Muslim Uyghur population “something straight out of George Orwell.”

For her, the Biden administration’s “diplomatic boycott” of the Winter Games did not go far enough.

“You can’t go halfway,” she said, “and I think that’s what they’re trying to do. They are trying to split this and you can’t.”

“Jen Psaki can’t be Olympic-obsessed, and turn her back on the Uyghurs that are suffering,” she added. “You are either for human rights or you’re not.”

Indeed, the administration’s Olympic spirit has appeared to many as schizophrenia, with Psaki assuring Americans that they will all, including Biden, be cheering for the athletes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned athletes against angering the “ruthless” Chinese government.

“Yes, we are looking forward to it and will cheer for our American athletes,” said Psaki as the opening ceremonies, which featured a Uyghur athlete lighting the Olympic torch, neared.

The administration’s refusal to send diplomats to the games while still celebrating the spectacle made little in the way of a statement to China, according to Haley.

“China never cared whether Biden showed up,” Haley said. “It was the athletes they wanted.”

She also slammed the American corporate sponsors, such as Coca-Cola, Visa, and Airbnb, who bankroll the Olympic Games.

“They are making money on the backs of abuses that are happening and that are unthinkable,” Haley said. “If it was happening to their families, they’d be screaming at the rooftops saying this is a total injustice.”

“It’s hypocritical on every level to see what these sponsors are doing,” she added.

Ultimately, Haley hopes more Americans will focus their attention on the reality of an emerging China going forward.

“My hope and prayer is that Americans realize that China is the one that gave us COVID,” she said. “China is the one stealing intellectual property. China is the one committing human rights abuses. And China is the one that has become a surveillance state that is now going to start dictating to our American companies, which is why they’ve started to leave.”

“At some point,” Haley stated, “we need to understand it is time to move on from China.”


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