Tags: Joe Biden | Joe Biden | China | human rights | Xi Jinping | politics | Obama

Joe Biden to Chinese: US Emphasis on Human Rights Just Politics

Joe Biden to Chinese: US Emphasis on Human Rights Just Politics
(Andrew Harrer/Pool/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 April 2015 03:42 PM

During conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2011 and 2012, Vice President Joe Biden said that American presidents speak about human rights because of "political imperative," according to an article in the latest New Yorker.

"No president of the United States could represent the United States were he not committed to human rights," he told Xi when asked why the U.S. puts so much "emphasis" on human rights.

"President Barack Obama would not be able to stay in power if he did not speak of it. So look at it as a political imperative. It doesn't make us better or worse. It's who we are. You make your decisions. We'll make ours."

"It was not exactly a gaffe. It wasn't a misstatement of a phrase or two," says Wall Street Journal editorial page writer David Feith, who is stationed in Hong Kong.

"The answer that Vice President Biden gave to the Chinese leader was quite unusual. This is simply for consumption back home in the U.S. It is not a matter of strategic importance or of America's moral values," but one of political posturing.

As noted in the latest report issued by the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor on human rights practices, after completing the leadership transition to Xi, Chinese government officials often engaged in human rights abuses.

"Repression and coercion, particularly against organizations and individuals involved in civil and political rights advocacy and public interest issues, ethnic minorities, and law firms that took on sensitive cases, were routine. Increasingly, officials employed harassment, intimidation, and prosecution of family members and associates to retaliate against rights advocates and defenders," the report said, adding that "security forces reportedly committed arbitrary or unlawful killings."

Biden's comments echo similar sentiments expressed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a visit to South Korea in 2009.

"Successive administrations and Chinese governments have been poised back and forth on these issues, and we have to continue to press them. But our pressing on those issues can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis," she told reporters when describing the administration's priorities, according to CNN.

The approach toward human rights that Biden relayed to Xi is not isolated to China.

"The Iran talks also reflect his abiding belief that the best way to change the behavior of hostile governments with spotty human rights records is not through isolation or the threat of military force, but by persistent engagement. In recent years, Obama has pushed to open up trade and diplomatic relations with countries such as Cuba and Burma," writes The Washington Post's Greg Jaffe.

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
During conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2011 and 2012, Vice President Joe Biden said that American presidents speak about human rights because of "political imperative," according to an article in the latest New Yorker.
Joe Biden, China, human rights, Xi Jinping, politics, Obama, US, political imperative
445
2015-42-07
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 03:42 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved