China will pay a price for its human rights abuses, United States President Joe Biden warned, responding to queries on the Asian nation’s handling of Muslim minorities in its far western region of Xinjiang.

China will pay a price for its human rights abuses, United States President Joe Biden has warned.
Key points:

  • Mr Biden said the US would reassert its global role in speaking up for human rights
  • The US President earlier emphasized to China the priority of preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region
  • He has tried to send a message that he would take a different approach to China from that of Donald Trump

He was responding to queries at a televised event on the Asian nation’s handling of Muslim minorities in its far western region of Xinjiang.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has drawn global criticism for holding the minority Uyghurs in internment camps and other human rights abuses.
“Well, there will be repercussions for China and he knows that,” Mr Biden said of Mr Xi when pressed on the issue at the town hall event televised on broadcaster CNN.
The US would reassert its global role in speaking up for human rights, Mr Biden said, adding 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,” Mr Biden said on his first official trip since taking office as President in January.
‘A very personal thing for me’
Uyghurs in Australia say they are elated after the US released an official statement accusing China of committing genocide against the ethnic group.
Read more
Us-China relationship
“As long as they are engaged in activity that is contrary to basic human rights, it is going to be hard for them to do that,” he added.
In a two-hour phone call with Mr Xi this month, Mr Biden emphasized the US priority of preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region, where the US and China are major strategic rivals.
In his call with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Biden emphasised the need for “close cooperation to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
And in his call with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, he highlighted that the two nations’ alliance was essential to stability in the region, the White House said.
Mr Biden has tried to send the message that he would take a radically different approach to China than former president Donald Trump, who placed trade and economic issues above all else in the US-China relationship.
He also voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and rights issues, such as its Hong Kong crackdown, the Xinjiang internments, and increasingly assertive actions in Asia, including toward Taiwan, which China claims as its own.
Reuters/ABC