Leftist American President Joe Biden struck a conciliatory tone in his public remarks alongside genocidal communist dictator Xi Jinping of China on Monday, suggesting China and America should work together on “climate changes” and “food insecurity” but not addressing human rights.
Talks between the two leaders are currently underway in Bali, Indonesia, where this year’s G20 summit is expected to begin on Tuesday. The governments involved have not released any specific agenda for their conversation and Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported that the White House had denied that Xi and Biden would release a joint statement after their conversation.
The White House published a readout of the conversation that claimed Biden mentioned “human rights more broadly” and the situation in “Xinjiang,” using the Chinese government name for the Uyghur region of East Turkistan where the Communist Party is currently committing genocide.
Both leaders made a brief statement before sitting down for negotiations indicating that the goal of their meeting was to prevent any further deterioration of the bilateral relationship.
Biden emphasized his joy at seeing Xi in person for the first time in over five years, according to Xi, and the need for their personal warmth towards each other to drive the relationship between Washington and Beijing towards an amicable destination.
Absent from Biden’s remarks in front of reporters was the mention of any of Xi’s well-documented human rights atrocities, most notably the genocide of Muslim-majority people in East Turkistan that has resulted in the construction of over 1,000 concentration camps and rampant killing, gang rape, and forced sterilization.
Biden also appeared to approve of last month’s Communist Party Congress, an event that occurs every five years and, under Xi, has become a rubber-stamp ceremony granting an extension of Xi’s term in power. This year’s Congress was particularly notable for the violent expulsion of Xi’s predecessor, elderly former President Hu Jintao, who cameras caught being violently dragged out of Great Hall of the People directly in front of Xi. Hu, 79, has not been seen in public since his ouster at the Congress.
“I’m really glad to be able to see you again in person. We spent a lot of time together and — back in the days when we were both vice presidents, and it’s just great to see you,” Biden told Xi on Monday, according to the White House transcript of the two leaders’ remarks.
“And you and I have had a number of candid and useful conversations over the years and since I became President as well. You were kind enough to call me to congratulate me, and I congratulate you as well,” Biden continued, apparently referring to Xi’s “reelection” as president, chairman of the Communist Party, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and nearly a dozen other titles at the Congress.
Biden went on to say “the world expects” cooperation between China and America, listing the topics he wished to cooperate on as “global challenges, from climate changes, to food insecurity, and to — for us to be able to work together.”
Unlike Biden, Xi did not mention any particular topic for discussion at all – not even climate change, traditionally a topic the Biden administration has insisted is so important that it demands friendly diplomacy with Beijing. Also notably absent from the opening remarks was any mention of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, which began in Wuhan, China, in 2019 and Chinese officials have falsely insisted is the result of American bioweapons research. In reality, mounting evidence, including reports revealed by the U.S. State Department, indicates that a potential accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, known to be studying bat coronaviruses at the onset of the pandemic, could have triggered the crisis.
Xi focused on lamenting the allegedly deplorable state of the bilateral relationship between China and America.
“Currently, the China-U.S. relationship is in such a situation that we all care a lot about it, because this is not the fundamental interests of our two countries and peoples and it is not what the international community expects us,” Xi said, according to a White House translation. “In our meeting today, I’m ready to have a candid — as we always did — have a candid and in-depth exchange of views with you on issues of strategic importance in China-U.S. relations and on major global and regional issues.”
The Chinese government-controlled Global Times newspaper also reported on Xi’s remarks but did not add any information absent from the White House transcript. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s regular press briefing on Monday occurred before the meeting, so details could not be addressed. Top Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying shared photos of the two leaders on social media but omitted details of the discussion.
A handshake across the Pacific Ocean. pic.twitter.com/I24jSCn9xM
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) November 14, 2022
Prior to the meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told reporters at her regular briefing on Monday that Xi was seeking to use the meeting for “establishing the right way forward for our relations in the new era.”
“It is important that the US work together with China to properly manage differences, advance mutually beneficial cooperation, avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation, and bring China-US relations back to the right track of sound and steady development,” Mao said. “We hope that the US will work with China in the spirit of mutual respect, and play a responsible role in safeguarding world stability and development.”
Absent a topic agenda or any specifics, multiple reports in American media outlets have quoted anonymous Biden administration officials who said the objective of meeting with Xi was to “build a floor,” meaning agreeing on a point beyond which neither side would allow the relationship to deteriorate, presumably including war.
“They did not expect any of the major differences with China to be resolved by the time the meeting breaks up Monday night. But they do hope by talking directly, the risk of a misunderstanding spiraling out of control is avoided,” the left-wing outlet CNN reported, referring to anonymous alleged American officials.
The White House readout published later on Monday claimed that Biden mentioned the Uyghur genocide, but did not dwell on the matter.
Chinese dictator Xi Jinping is apparently planning a visit to Saudi Arabia next week, two months after Biden’s embarrassing trip to the kingdom. https://t.co/M8VMTEHF2C
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 12, 2022
“President Biden raised concerns about PRC [People’s Republic of China] practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, and human rights more broadly,” the White House relayed, not elaborating on any of these topics. Tibet, like East Turkistan, is facing the erasure of its majority religion, language, and culture through systematic Communist Party policies. In Hong Kong, China erased the “One Country, Two Systems” policy that allowed capitalism to thrive through a 2020 “national security” law that effectively outlaws all expression of dissent from communism.
Addressing the genocide of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz people, and others in occupied East Turkistan would likely add stress to a conversation Biden officials appear to hope will diffuse tensions, not increase them. Yet Biden had previously promised to bring up human rights as an important topic in every conversation with world leaders, Xi in particular, even going so far as to indicate in a 2021 appearance on CNN that Xi understood Biden did not actually care about human rights, but America’s democratic system required him to pretend to care to win votes.
“The idea I’m not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uyghurs in western mountains of China and Taiwan, trying to end the One China policy by making it forceful,” Biden said at the time, “I said — and by the — he said he — he gets it. Culturally, there are different norms that each country and they — their leaders — are expected to follow.”
In contrast, Biden was quick to describe the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “genocide” in April, eight years after it began.
Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was present for Monday’s meeting with Xi, has described the Uyghur genocide as a “genocide,” following in the assessment of his predecessor under President Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo.