China will pay a price for its human rights abuses, U.S. President Joe Biden said when pressed on the issue at the town hall event televised on broadcaster CNN on Tuesday.
Responding to queries at a televised event on the Asian nation's handling of Muslim minority Uighurs in internment camps and other human rights abuses in Xinjiang, he said, "Well, there will be repercussions for China and he (Xi) knows that."
The United States will reassert its global role in speaking up for human rights, Biden stressed and assured that he would work with the international community to get China to protect them. "China is trying very hard to become a world leader and to get that moniker and be able to do that they have to gain the confidence of other countries," Biden said on his first official trip since taking office as president in January.
During a CNN town hall event in Milwaukee, Biden referred to his recent conversation with Xi Jinping. "If you anything about Chinese history, it has always been, the time when China has been victimised by the outer world is when they haven't been unified at home... so the central ---well, vastly overstated--- (is) the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses this rationale for the things he does based on that."
What Biden said
Biden said, "I pointed out to him no American president can be sustained as a president, if he doesn't reflect the values of the United States. And so the idea that I am 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. He gets it." That's when Biden added in, "Culturally, there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow."
Unlike his predecessor Donald Trump known for his kneejerk reaction on China, Biden's response was weighed with balance. For many people used to Trump's quick and sharp anti-China remarks, Biden's views did not go down well. Many people trolled him for "endorsing China's human rights violations in Uighur," while others said the issue required matured response.
One user has put it as: "He is right. Difficult questions for anyone to answer. Point is China's policies are a controlled system and values are different from the US. The key is to keep talking but do not interfere in each other's space."
Another user joined the debate supporting the response. "So the statement of culturally there are different norms is actually spot on. He doesn't say that those norms are right or even better or even acceptable. He just states that there are differences. A true statement to a very very complex problem."