2022 Winter Olympics: Disrupting the Games


NSI was excited to host Enes Kanter Freedom from the Boston Celtics, Joey Siu, an outspoken Hong Kong activist, and Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI-08) for a critical examination of China’s human rights violations happening in the Winter Olympics’ backyard. Josh Rogin from the Washington Post moderated the discussion, which will highlighted how everyone can become an ally of the Uyghur community and pressure China now and beyond the Olympic games.

All panelists have been outspoken critics of China’s genocide of the Uyghur community and the Chinese Communist Party’s repressive regime. Enes Kanter Freedom has publicly called on American Olympians to boycott this year’s Winter Games and has repeatedly pressured prominent corporation, Nike, to speak out on the genocide. Joey Siu, an exiled Hong Kong activist, led the push for the Biden Administration to announce a diplomatic boycott, which she argued was the first step in holding China accountable at the Winter Games. Rep. Mike Gallagher has been busy in Congress and a year ago, led the international effort with nine other countries to pressure the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to move the Winter Games from Beijing. When Chinese Olympian, Peng Shuai, went missing, Rep. Gallagher also introduced legislation that would sanction senior members of the IOC for being complicit, and called on the Biden Administration to take a stand as well. Josh Rogin has written numerous op-eds for the Washington Post that highlight the ongoing human rights atrocities China has been committing. Most recently his articles focus on the controversy of the Winter Games, and what athletes and lawmakers can do to protest.

A full recording of the event can be seen below.



On December 9, 2021, NSI hosted Rep. Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) and Rep. Mike Waltz (FL-06) for a bi-partisan discussion of the disappearance of Chinese Olympian, Peng Shuai, and what this could mean for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games. You can watch the event here.

Click here to learn more on NSI’s Countering China project.   Click here to read NSI’s paper on China’s Oppression of Uyghurs.


About Enes Kanter Freedom:


Enes Kanter was born in Zurich, Switzerland but his family returned to his family’s native Turkey when is father, Mehmet Kanter, became a professor of histology and genetics at Trakya University. Enes’ mother was a nurse and he has three younger siblings. One of his two brothers, Kerem, played college ball at Xavier. At 17 years of age, Enes moved to the United States to play high school basketball and played for one year at Stoneridge Preparatory School in Simi Valley, California. Kanter credits the television shows SpongeBob SquarePants and Jersey Shore for helping him learn English. He is a big fan of pro wrestling. In the summers, Kanter travels the country hosting youth basketball camps. To learn more about Kanter check out @eneskanter11 on Instagram and @EnesKanter on Twitter. Before being drafted by the Jazz in 2011, Enes Kanter played nine games for the Turkish Fenerbahce squad during the 2008-09 season. He was 16 years old at the time. Through those nine games, he appeared in both Turkish League and EuroLeague contests. He averaged 2.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Later, he attempted to play collegiate basketball with Washington and then Kentucky, but he was deemed ineligible by the NCAA due to his Fenerbahce experience. Despite his lack of collegiate experience, Kanter was drafted with the third overall pick by Utah during the 2011 NBA Draft.


About Joey Siu:

Joey Siu is a Hongkongese-American student activist, a Policy Advisor of Hong Kong Watch and advisor to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC). She participated actively in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement by organizing local grassroot campaigns and also international advocacy for Hong Kong. Her focus is on human rights in Hong Kong, East Turkestan, Tibet and other regions in China. She also writes on U.S. – China relations and Hong Kong politics. She has testified before the U.S. Congress twice, spoken in the U.K. Parliament and United Nations in Geneva, and given briefings at the European Union Delegation office at the U.N.



About Mike Gallagher:

Congressman Gallagher currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. From 2019-2021 he served as Co-Chairman of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.





About Josh Rogin:

Josh Rogin is a Washington Post foreign policy columnist and a political analyst with CNN. Previously, he has covered foreign policy and national security for Bloomberg View, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy magazine, Congressional Quarterly, Federal Computer Week magazine, and Japan’s Asahi Shimbun.  He was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and the 2011 recipient of the Interaction Award for Excellence in International Reporting.  Josh holds a BA in international affairs from the George Washington University and studied at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. He lives in Washington, DC. He is also the author of his newest book, Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the Twenty-First Century.