Uyghurs worldwide expressed their disappointment with U.S. President Joe Biden after meeting with his counterpart, Chinese leader Xi Jinping. He omitted to condemn the genocide suffered by the Uyghur people at the hands of the communist regime in the Xinjiang region.
Biden held a three-hour conversation with Xi Jinping, on Monday, November 14, in their first face-to-face meeting since Biden took office.
According to representatives of the Uyghur community, Biden missed a unique opportunity to complain to the communist leader about the situation in Xinjiang.
In a world convulsed by the war in Ukraine and Russia, added to the political tensions due to the economic crisis on a large part of the planet after the coronavirus broke out in Wuhan, there was great expectation for this meeting from different sectors.
And it seems both leaders came to the meeting hoping to improve a “sour” relationship. Biden announced that his Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, would visit China and assured that officials from each country would begin working together to resolve bilateral problems.
In a statement released by the White House, Biden was said to have raised concerns about human rights but focused his weak criticism on the Taiwan issue and did not elaborate on any of the genocides the regime is accused of committing within its territory.
Biden mentioned “Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, and human rights in general” without elaborating.
Uyghurs demanded that Biden denounce genocide
Over the weekend before the meeting between the two leaders, a group of protesters composed of Uyghurs and other members of communities in Chinese-occupied East Turkestan gathered to pressure Biden to highlight during his meeting with Xi concerns about allegations of genocide against the Uyghur people.
Protesters organized Saturday by the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement said in remarks outside the White House that they hoped the continued suffering of their people would become a priority for the U.S. government.
“We call on President Joe Biden to lead the free world in making it clear to Xi Jinping and the racist Chinese government that the free world will no longer tolerate China’s colonization and genocide in East Turkistan,” said Salih Hudayar, East Turkistan’s prime minister in exile.
“We call on the international community to intervene and end China’s 21st-century, Holocaust-like genocide in East Turkistan before it is too late,” Salih Hudayar added.
This ultimately did not happen, and the human rights issue was barely mentioned in passing, in a comment that was a compliment rather than a state policy of complaining about a particular issue.
Uyghurs are very disappointed that President Biden did not explicitly condemn China’s ongoing genocide during his meeting with President Xi before the G20. The Uyghur genocide is not a mere “human rights” violation.
The Chinese Communist regime has been engaged in brutal persecution against ethnic Uyghurs and other communities within East Turkestan since at least 2017, when reports began to emerge of the construction of concentration camps that, at their peak, would have housed more than 3 million people.
Many camp survivors have reported widespread use of torture, including gang rapes and other atrocities, as well as forced sterilization throughout the region to exterminate the population.
Amannissa Mukhlis, women and family director of the East Turkistan National Movement, stressed to the crowd gathered over the weekend the particular abuses women have suffered under this genocide, referencing the widespread use of sterilization to stop the growth of ethnic populations.
“Millions of Uyghurs and other Turkic women have been forced to have abortions, been sterilized, and stay in concentration camps and prisons where they have been sexually assaulted and raped,” Mukhlis explained. “China has taken at least half a million East Turkistani women out of East Turkistan and put them into slave and forced labor factories in Chinese provinces over the last 20 years.”
The Uyghur Tribunal, a coalition of independent international legal experts, concluded after an investigation that the Chinese communist regime was undoubtedly guilty of committing “genocide” in the region.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump was one of the most prominent whistleblowers against the Chinese regime over the plight of the Uyghurs. He was the politician who motivated the fierce persecution to begin to be labeled as genocide.
On January 19, 2021, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, through an official White House statement, denounced that at least since March 2017, the People’s Republic of China, under the leadership and control of the CCP, has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs.
Several countries, including Canada, the Netherlands, and Britain, have followed the lead of former U.S. President Donald Trump and accused China’s communist regime of committing genocide against the Uyghur population, defined by international convention as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”
The meeting between Biden and Xi this week was the first face-to-face meeting between the top leaders after the major denunciation made official by the White House during the previous presidential term.
It is, therefore, more than understandable the frustration of the Uyghur people, who had hoped that Biden would continue the critical line initiated by Trump in the sense of opposing the most basic human rights violations.