President Joe Biden said during a CNN town hall on Tuesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping “gets it” when Biden criticizes China’s for holding the Uighurs in internment camps and other human rights abuses.
Biden explained to Xi, “no American president can be sustained as a president if he doesn’t reflect the values of the United States.”
Anchor Anderson Cooper said, “You just talked to China’s president.
Biden said, “Yes, for two hours.”
Cooper said, “What about the Uighurs?”
Biden said, “We must speak up for human rights. It’s who we are. My comment to him was — and I know him well, and he knows me well. We had a two-hour conversation.”
Cooper said, “You talked about this too.”
Biden said, “I talked about this too. not so much refugee, but I said, look, Chinese leaders —if you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been the time China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home. It’s vastly overstated, but the center of principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”
He continued, “I point out to him no American president can be sustained as a president if he doesn’t reflect the values of the United States. So, the idea that I’m not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uighurs in Western Mountains of China, and Taiwan, trying to end the one-China policy by making it forceful. I said, and he gets it, culturally there are different norms in each country, and their leaders are expected to follow.”
Cooper said, “When you talk to him about human rights abuses, is that just — is that as far as it goes in terms of the U.S.? or is there any actual repercussions for China?”
Biden said, “Well, there will be repercussions for China, and he knows that. What I’m doing is making clear that we, in fact, are going to continue to reassert our role as spokespersons for human rights at the UN and other agencies that have an impact on their attitude. China is trying very hard to become the world leader, and goat that moniker and be able to do that, they have to gain the confidence of other countries. As long as they’re engaged in activity that is contrary to basic human rights, it’s going to be hard to do that. But it’s more much more complicated. I shouldn’t try to talk China’s policy in ten minutes on television.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN