World China’s human rights abuses haunt Biden's and Trudeau’s climate plans
Fact check: Breaking down Joe Biden's first month of claims
President Joe Biden was more consistently factual in his first month in office than his predecessor ever was in office. But Biden was not perfect.President Joe Biden was more consistently factual in his first month in office than his predecessor ever was in office. But Biden was not perfect himself.
Administration officials say President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau want to “closely align” their respective China policies, a pledge that will test their ability to confront Beijing’s human rights abuses while convincing the regime to help mitigate climate change.
Climate change stands as a top foreign policy priority for both Biden and Trudeau, who agree that China looms large over any international effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, Beijing has threatened to withhold that desired cooperation on climate change if Western leaders attempt toputting those green initiatives on a collision course with intensifying anger over atrocious treatment of Uighur Muslims.
Justin Trudeau looks forward to working with President Biden: 'It's great to see America re-engage'
"That need to work closely as neighbors continues," Trudeau said. "But now it continues with an administration with whom we have a little more in common.""It's great to see America re-engage" on the global sphere again, Trudeau said in early remarks from a forthcoming interview with NBC News' "Meet the Press.
“We believe that we can have those conversations,” a senior administration official told reporters ahead of a Tuesday virtual meeting between the two leaders. “The United States is not going to subsume its defense of democracy and human rights to pursue climate goals.”
“We believe that we can have a conversation about the urgent and pressing need to address climate change — it’s in everybody’s interest; it’s in China’s interest — but at the same time have a very candid conversation about our concerns, and, frankly, to seek to closely align our approaches to China,” the senior administration official said. “This includes dealing with its coercive and unfair economic practices, national security challenges, and ... the human rights abuses.”
White House works to inject stateliness into a virtual visit from Justin Trudeau
When President Joe Biden welcomes his Canadian counterpart to the White House on Tuesday to "reinvigorate" a cross-border relationship strained under his predecessor, he will do so by addressing a large television monitor. © AP/Getty Images In-person visits from foreign leaders are still off-limits as the novel coronavirus continues to rage. So Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will beam into the West Wing from Ottawa, his bearded visage positioned next to Biden on a large screen as each man does his best to replicate the traditional choreography of a White House bilateral meeting.
Chinese officials insist that is not true.
“China is ready to cooperate with the United States and the international community on climate change,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in January. “That said ... no one should imagine they could ask China to understand and support them in bilateral and global affairs when they blatantly interfere in China's domestic affairs and undermine China's interests.”
Canadian lawmakersa nonbinding resolution Monday that denounces China’s repression of the Uighurs as a genocide, but Trudeau and top lieutenants skipped the 266-0 vote, and the prime minister is hesitant to use that term.
“When it comes to the application of the very specific word genocide, we simply need to ensure that all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed before a determination like that is made,” Trudeaulast week.
Uyghurs in China: What Biden should do about China's atrocities (opinion)
Amed Khan writes that China's treatment of the Uyghurs is a genocide that poses an urgent test for President Joe Biden's new administration and for the international community. "Either the United States and the world will finally go beyond tepid criticism and respond with real action, or we can forget about values, universal rights, and international law."China has since banned BBC World News from airing in the country and denied the abuse, telling CNN that "it is strictly forbidden to insult and abuse trainees in any way.
Beijing defends the mass detention camps in Xinjiang as a counterterrorism program, but survivors and Uighur activists havea program of and the of Uighur women.
"No one should be subjected to such cruelty,” Kalbinur Tursun, a Uighur woman who said she was forcibly sterilized in 2019,Canadian reporters before the Monday vote.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken hasoutgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s last-minute decision to label the repression a , but the legal determination is nonetheless under at the State Department.
Other Western powers also have stopped short of using the genocide terminology, though recent revelations about the extent of the sexual violence perpetrated in the re-education camps — "They don't only rape but also bite all over your body, you don't know if they are human or animal," a survivor recentlythe BBC — has spurred condemnations of Beijing in Western diplomatic circles.
“The reported abuses, which include torture, forced labor, and forced sterilization of women, are extreme, and they are extensive,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raabthe United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday. “They are taking place on an industrial scale. It must be our collective duty to ensure this does not go unanswered.”
A realistic approach to democracy and human rights in China begins at home
If the Biden administration wants to achieve American interests when working with China, it would do well to recognize the limits of American power on China.Some would argue this is an idealist endeavor. Biden also recognized that the United States will work with China to accomplish American interests. This would be a pragmatic approach that would allow him to address two of his administration's top priorities - COVID-19 and climate - with authoritarian China.
Trudeau has acknowledged the “tremendous human rights abuses coming out of Xinjiang,” the region where most Uighurs live, but he wants to avoid a solitary confrontation with China.
“Moving forward multilaterally will be the best way to demonstrate the solidarity of Western democracies ... that are extremely concerned and dismayed by reports of what’s going on in Xinjiang,” helast week.
Trudeau is embroiled already in a separate human rights controversy with China, stemming from the communist regime’s seizure of two Canadian citizens. Theof the two men, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, is an apparent effort by Chinese officials to pressure Canada to free a senior Huawei executive who is fighting extradition to the U.S., where she faces criminal charges.
Canadian officials orchestrated an initiative last week to condemn the “arbitrary arrest, detention, or sentencing to exercise leverage over foreign governments,” a diplomatic maneuver implicitly aimed at drawing democratic allies into a network to condemn China’s hostage diplomacy tactics.
“It’s time to send a clear message to every government that arbitrarily detains foreign nationals and tries to use them as leverage: This will not be tolerated by the international community,” Blinkenlast week. “The fact that so many countries are endorsing this declaration is a sign of its strength.”
Trudeau lauds Biden: 'It's great to see America re-engage'
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lauded President Biden during an interview, stating its "great to see America re-engage." Trudeau made the comment in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" set to air on Sunday, as he addressed whether former President Trump hindered some of the collaborative work with the Group of Seven (G-7) nations."I believe that we all need to work together in a more active way, and I'm glad to see the newTrudeau made the comment in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" set to air on Sunday, as he addressed whether former President Trump hindered some of the collaborative work with the Group of Seven (G-7) nations.
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As U.S., U.K. Converge on China, British Lawmaker Says 'Golden Era Is Over' .
An "awakening" to the challenges posed by Beijing has caused a shift in attitude in the United Kingdom, says Tom Tugendhat, chair of China Research Group.Echoing recent sentiments expressed on Capitol Hill, Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the British Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, said there had been an "awakening" in the U.K. to the many irreconcilable practices of the Chinese government.