The below article was published by Breitbart News, photo credit: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images
The prime minister of the East Turkistan government in exile, Salih Hudayar, lamented late Tuesday night the complete absence of any mention of the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim people by China in President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, listing several things Biden could have announced to help the oppressed people.
China – America’s largest geopolitical rival and a rogue state engaging in a litany of human rights abuses, including the genocide of the Uyghur people – was largely absent from Biden’s speech. Biden mentioned China three times, framing it as an economic and strategic competitor, not a national security threat or a menace to international human rights. In contrast, Biden opened the speech discussing Russia, spending about ten minutes condemning the “menacing ways” of strongman Vladimir Putin. Biden mentioned Chinese dictator Xi Jinping only once, in the context of promoting his costly infrastructure plan.
“As I’ve told Xi Jinping, it is never a good bet to bet against the American people,” Biden said.
In contrast, Biden mentioned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky twice and Putin 12 times.
In a statement posted to social media, Hudayar noted that Biden spent a significant portion of his time as a presidential candidate condemning former President Donald Trump for not doing enough to save the Uyghur people, and has now failed to use his largest annual platform to champion their cause.
“During the elections, Joe Biden vowed to stand against China’s ongoing GENOCIDE against Uyghurs/Turkic peoples in Occupied East Turkistan in the ‘strongest terms,’” Hudayar recalled, “but as [president] he failed to even address the issue in his State of the Union address. Huge disappointment for Uyghurs.”
Breitbart News reached out to Hudayar on Monday night asking what he would have wanted to see from Biden.
“At the very least he could have mentioned that the U.S. would take strong measures to hold China’s leaders, including Xi Jinping, accountable for the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples of East Turkistan,” Hudayar said. He added that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has refused to address the Uyghur genocide and pressure from the United States could potentially help change that. The ICC has repeatedly claimed that insufficient evidence exists to accuse China of genocide, despite international human rights lawyers compiling satellite images of concentration camps, interviews with concentration camp victims testifying to brutal torture and sterilization, internal Chinese documents revealing genocidal intent, and other key evidence.
“The ICC is opening a probe over the Ukraine-Russia war due to significant international attention and pressure but has so far refrained to investigate China,” Hudayar told Breitbart News. “The U.S. could call on the ICC to investigate China and it could bring the East Turkistan issue to the agenda of the UN Security Council even if China vetoes it.”
Biden leveraged the Uyghur genocide as an issue during the 2020 election.
“The unspeakable oppression that Uighurs and other ethnic minorities have suffered at the hands of China’s authoritarian government is genocide and Joe Biden stands against it in the strongest terms,” the Biden campaign declared in August 2020.
Following his election, then-nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, was quick to use the term “genocide” to describe the Chinese Communist Party’s policies in East Turkistan, a region the Party refers to by the name “Xinjiang.” Biden himself, however, mused during a CNN event in February 2021 that Xi had a “rationale” for oppressing Muslim-majority groups in occupied East Turkistan.
“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,” Biden contended, responding to a question at a town hall about the Uyghur genocide. “And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”
Biden claimed that he explained to Xi during a conversation that domestic pressure was the only reason that he mentioned human rights in China to him at all, and that Xi “gets it” that Biden does not have the political bandwidth to avoid confrontation on the issue.
“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,” Biden said. “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 Uyghurs 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.”
Extensive evidence compiled by human rights groups and foreign governments suggests that China began building concentration camps for Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz people, and other non-Han ethnic groups in East Turkistan in 2017. At their peak, according to the U.S. government, the camps housed up to 3 million people. Survivors of the camps say they experienced extreme torture, systematic rape, communist indoctrination, and medical testing consistent with live organ harvesting.
Outside of the concentration camps, China has developed an extensive security state in East Turkistan, flooding cities with cameras, mandating government GPS tracking on all cars, and flooding mosques and other community centers with communist propaganda.