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Marsha Blackburn, Roger Wicker, Cynthia Lummis Urge U.S. Olympic Committee to Prohibit Athletes From Using the Digital Yuan

 

U.S. SenateWashington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) sent a letter to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) strongly encouraging them to forbid American athletes from acquiring or using the Chinese Communist Party’s Digital Electronic Currency Payment, or digital yuan, during the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.

Last week, the Chinese government’s digital yuan trial reached $5.3 billion in transactions. It was previously reported that the Chinese government may expand the testing of digital yuan internationally at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Senator Marsha Blackburn.

Senator Marsha Blackburn.

The Chinese Digital Yuan May Be Used By Beijing To Surveil Olympic Athletes

While the Chinese Communist Party insists their efforts are aimed at digitizing bank notes and coins, Olympic athletes should be aware that the digital yuan may be used to surveil Chinese citizens and those visiting China on an unprecedented scale, with the hopes that they will maintain digital yuan wallets on their smartphones and continue to use it upon return.

The CCP Has Already Used Digital Payment Platforms To Surveil, Threaten, And Arrest Chinese Citizens

These concerns are especially pronounced given the Chinese Communist Party’s use of new and emerging technologies to suppress the Uyghur minority, the people of Hong Kong, and those across China who strive for freedom of expression. These concerns are not hypothetical. Rather, digital payment platforms such as WeChat, are already being used to surveil, threaten, and arrest Chinese citizens.

You can find the full letter to USOPC Board Chair Susan Lyons below or here.

Dear Chair Lyons,

We write to express our concerns with the communist Chinese government’s plans to officially launch the Digital Currency Electronic Payment, commonly referred to as the digital yuan, prior to the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. Specifically, we urge the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to forbid American athletes from receiving or using digital yuan during the Beijing Olympics.

The digital yuan is the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) central bank digital currency. The digital yuan is entirely controlled by the PBOC, and can be tracked and traced by the central bank. The digital yuan has been in the works since 2014, but only recently has the Chinese government released key features regarding the digital currency, including the ability of the government to know the exact details of what someone purchased and where.

 


 

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has already started to distribute free digital yuan. While the Chinese Communist Party insists their efforts are aimed at digitizing bank notes and coins, Olympic athletes should be aware that the digital yuan may be used to surveil Chinese citizens and those visiting China on an unprecedented scale, with the hopes that they will maintain digital yuan wallets on their smartphones and continue to use it upon return. The integration of China’s digital currency into global commerce has many problematic privacy implications. These concerns are especially pronounced given the Chinese Communist Party’s use of new and emerging technologies to suppress the Uyghur minority, the people of Hong Kong, and those across China who strive for freedom of expression. These concerns are not hypothetical. Rather, digital payment platforms such as WeChat, are already being used to surveil, threaten, and arrest Chinese citizens.

We appreciate your attention to this important matter. It is paramount the USOPC works with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Treasury, and the U.S. Department of Commerce to protect the privacy of American athletes from the Chinese Communist Government. A briefing on this request for Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation members within 30-days of receipt of this letter would be particularly helpful.


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