Campus Reform | Biden chalks up China's Uyghur genocide to different cultural 'norms.' Can he be trusted to keep CCP off college campuses?

Biden chalks up China's Uyghur genocide to different cultural 'norms.' Can he be trusted to keep CCP off college campuses?

During a CNN town hall event, President Joe Biden diminished China’s oppression of Hong Kong and the Uyghurs by alleging that China has “different norms.”

Combined with his first actions toward China, these comments could suggest that Biden will be less hawkish toward the Chinese Communist Party than his presidential predecessor.

During a CNN town hall, President Joe Biden brushed off China’s oppression of Hong Kong and the genocide of the Uyghur ethnic group by saying that China has “different norms.” 

These comments — along with his first actions in response to China — indicate that Biden could be slow to protect American academia from Chinese influence. During the broadcast, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper asked the forty-sixth president about human rights abuses in China.

In response, Biden detailed his recent conversation with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

“If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been — the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home,” he said. “So the central — to vastly overstate it — the central 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.”

“Culturally, there are different norms that each country … are expected to follow,” explained Biden.

“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,” he continued. “And so 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 — 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 response, Jennifer Zeng — a human rights advocate and survivor of a Chinese labor camp — told Campus Reform that Biden cannot be trusted to fight Chinese influence on American college campuses. Campus Reform previously spoke exclusively with Zeng about her experience in the Uyghur concentration camp.

Watch the full interview above and SUBSCRIBE to the Campus Reform YouTube channel.  

“As far as I can understand, he tried very hard to defend Xi Jinping in his CNN town hall, although he made a lot of round-about with his speech,” she explained. “Many of my Chinese speaking friends felt very angry about his speech. He tried to find excuses for Xi Jinping's suppression in Xinjiang. If he applies this to Hong Kong and Taiwan, it means he will let Xi do whatever he likes to Hong Kong and Taiwan too.”

Over the past several months, Campus Reform has covered stories related to the intersection of American academia and Biden’s approach toward China.

Most recently, Campus Reform discovered that Biden quietly axed a policy meant to combat the Confucius Institute — an organization that seeks to influence the American education system with the ideals of the Chinese Communist Party.

[RELATED: Biden quietly nixes Trump-era rule combating Chinese Communist-funded 'propaganda' centers]

Likewise, federal lawmakers are seeking more information about the University of Pennsylvania's Biden Center — where Secretary of State Antony Blinken worked before the 2020 campaign cycle — and its receipt of anonymous donations from Chinese sources.

[RELATED: GOP lawmakers demand UPenn Biden Center release foreign donation records]


Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft