“The Biden administration must decide if they are going to defend human rights, and if President Xi will see clearly that human rights are central to US-China policy.
“The Chinese authorities have dismantled free expression in Hong Kong. They have refused to allow independent investigators into Xinjiang, where overwhelming evidence indicates crimes against humanity are taking place. They’ve targeted and imprisoned journalists, including reporters who worked to expose the gravity of COVID-19. They are currently refusing to release citizen journalist Zhang Zhan, who reported on government officials in Wuhan detaining journalists and harassing families of COVID-19 patients. Zhang Zhan has suffered terribly – she’s been on hunger strike, she’s been force-fed by feeding tube, she’s been shackled. Her family fears she is close to death.
“Ending these violations and insisting on accountability must be central tenants of the US policy towards the Chinese government and the defining frame of Biden’s message to Xi. It’s not enough to include human rights as an aside in a meeting primarily devoted to managing competition or looking for shared interests. This is a government that arbitrarily imprisons its people, quashes political opposition, criminalizes free speech, and abolishes access to information. Ending impunity for these violations must be a central imperative of the US policy towards China, not a peripheral concern.”
Contact: Gabby Arias, [email protected]