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Secretary of State Presses China on Human Rights Violations in Tense Phone Call

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In a rare instance in which the Biden administration appeared to continue the tone set by the Trump administration, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told China on Friday that the U.S. will defend human rights in high-profile areas where the Trump administration had made a stand.

A statement from spokesman Ned Price that was posted on the State Department website said Blinken spoke with the Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi.

“Secretary Blinken stressed the United States will continue to stand up for human rights and democratic values, including in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, and pressed China to join the international community in condemning the military coup in Burma,” Price said.

“The Secretary reaffirmed that the United States will work together with its allies and partners in defense of our shared values and interests to hold the PRC accountable for its efforts to threaten stability in the Indo-Pacific, including across the Taiwan Strait, and its undermining of the rules-based international system,” the statement said.

In response, Yang said the U.S. should “correct recent mistakes, and work with China to promote the healthy and stable development of China-US relations by upholding the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” according to a statement released from China’s Foreign Ministry, CNN reported.

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“Each side should focus on taking care of its own domestic affairs. China will firmly continue down the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and no one can stop the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” Yang said.

Yang also said that Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet are part of China’s internal affairs and that it would not tolerate any external interference, according to the Chinese statement.

He also said that Taiwan is the top issue between the two nations and that the U.S. must conform to the one-China principle, according to Bloomberg Law.

China claims the island, to which China’s Nationalist government fled after being overthrown by the Communists in 1949, as its territory. The U.S. does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, in deference to Chinese sensibilities, but has provided with arms and other support to help keep it independent of China.

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On Thursday, the USS John S. McCain, a guided-missile destroyer, said through the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from the mainland,  according to CNN.

This was the first show-of-force of its kind since Biden took office.

Friday’s call followed a statement from the State Department on Thursday saying it was “deeply disturbed” by reports of systemic sexual abuse against Muslim women who are among the ethnic Uyghurs held in internment camps in Xinjiang.

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“These atrocities shock the conscience and must be met with serious consequences,” the State Department said, according to the New York Post.

“We are deeply disturbed by reports, including first-hand testimony, of systematic rape and sexual abuse against women in internment camps for ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang,” the statement said.

Former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo had accused China of committing genocide against the Uyghurs last month just before leaving office, according to a statement on the State Department website.

“After careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that the People’s Republic of China, under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party, has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state,” he said.

“If the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against its own people, imagine what it will be emboldened to do to the free world, in the not-so-distant future,” Pompeo said.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
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Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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