On July 14, President Joe Biden stood in Jerusalem next to the prime minister of Israel and said that he visited the Holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem immediately after arriving there "to bear witness, to remember, to renew our vow of: never — never again."
On July 28, President Biden had a two-hour-and-twenty-minute phone call with the dictator of China, Xi Jinping. Both the Trump and Biden administrations have declared that China is perpetrating a genocide — Secretary of State Antony Blinken as recently as May 28, 2022, called it an "ongoing" genocide — in the Xinjiang region.
Chinese police files have disclosed what the leaders of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China call "overwhelming and horrific" evidence of "the role Xi Jinping and other top officials had in crafting the genocidal policies."
So what did "never again" Biden and "genocidal" Xi talk about in that two-hour-and-twenty-minute call?
The official White House readout of the call said, "The two presidents discussed a range of issues important to the bilateral relationship and other regional and global issues, and tasked their teams to continue following up on today's conversation, in particular to address climate change and health security." No mention of genocide.
According to a background press call attributable only to a "senior administration official," the conversation began with "a detailed discussion of areas where the two countries can work together, with particular focus on climate change and health security, as well as counternarcotics."
The two discussed Taiwan and the war in Ukraine. Oh, and Biden also did raise "long-standing concerns about human rights." No mention of genocide.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre later did volunteer, in response to a pointed question about what precisely that reference to "human rights" meant, "I can tell you that he raised genocide and forced labor practices." Jean-Pierre said Biden called on Beijing "to cease its ongoing human rights abuses across China."
The language Jean-Pierre used was itself a clue to the futility of Biden's existing approach to genocide prevention. "That is something that he raised — about the human rights, as he always does," she said. Biden "always" raises it, and the Chinese Communist Party keeps perpetrating the "ongoing"' genocide.
Maybe Xi can tell Biden isn't serious about the "never again" pledge by the fact that Biden keeps calling to discuss "health security" and "climate change," notwithstanding the ongoing genocide.
Biden recently assigned the Justice Department's top Nazi hunter, Eli Rosenbaum, to a special team to prosecute war crimes in Ukraine. Attorney General Merrick Garland declared, "The Justice Department will be relentless in our efforts to hold accountable every person complicit in the commission of war crimes, torture, and other grave violations during the unprovoked conflict in Ukraine."
Where is the parallel relentless effort to prosecute the perpetrators of the Xinjiang genocide?
Garland, flouting due process and trampling property rights, has been seizing yachts and condominiums of any prosperous person with a vaguely Russian last name. Where is the parallel effort aimed at pressing Beijing to stop the genocide?
The human rights abuses aren't incidental to the nature of the Chinese Communist regime. They are intrinsic to it. Communism sees religion — Islam, Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism — as threats to its dominance, just as dangerous as a free press, genuine democracy, or the rule of law.
When would Xi, and the people of China, realize that Biden is serious? When the president announces that for every minute he spends meeting with Xi, he'll spend an equivalent amount of time meeting with and encouraging the forces of freedom, faith and rule of law that oppose the Chinese Communist Party?
Biden should meet the Dalai Lama, as 38 senators, including Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Ben Sasse, R-Neb.; and Tom Cotton, R-Ala., urged him to do in a December 14, 2021, letter. Biden should meet Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong, who was arrested in May 2022 as part of a Communist crackdown on what had been a bulwark of relative freedom.
Biden should meet Jimmy Lai, the newspaper proprietor who has been harassed by communist authorities and thrown in jail for "crimes" such as participating in an event to honor the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Until then, Biden's "never again" will just be empty words. The American president will have used the Israeli Holocaust memorial as a prop, conveying a false impression that he is serious about preventing genocide. Future historians may ask what Biden was busy doing while the Chinese Communists were perpetrating a genocide. What an irony if the answer turns out to be, visiting Yad Vashem.
Ira Stoll is the author of "Samuel Adams: A Life," and "JFK, Conservative." Read Ira Stoll's Reports — More Here.
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