President Biden minimized the cultural genocide, concentration camps, and mass killings that are occurring in northwest China by ascribing it to different cultural norms rooted in “Chinese history.” A former National Security Advisor called Biden’s remarks “bigotry masquerading as cultural sensitivity.”
As Fox News notes, Biden was discussing “human rights atrocities carried out against the Uyghur populations in Western China. “Culturally, there are different norms in each country and their leaders are expected to follow,” said Biden on February 18.
But it’s not Chinese culture that’s causing mass killings and torture. It’s the totalitarian regime that controls China. Totalitarian regimes often commit genocide, such as the Holocaust committed by Germany’s National Socialist Party, or the Holodomor committed by Russia’s Communist regime, which killed millions of Ukrainian peasants. China is run by a totalitarian Communist Party that does not hesitate to torture and kill, and has targeted northwest China’s Uyghur people for cultural genocide and mass imprisonment.
Chinese culture is not pro-genocide. Taiwan has the same Chinese culture as mainland China, but it doesn’t kill or torture members of minority groups, because it isn’t run by a Communist Party. Taiwan’s aboriginal minority has the same civil liberties as everyone else. Chinese-speaking Taiwan is a free society that is virtually tied with America on the Human Freedom Index.
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Communist-controlled China treats minorities much worse. In northwestern China, as many as three million members of ethnic minority groups have been imprisoned in grim concentration camps. Over one million of the imprisoned people are Uyghurs, the largest minority group in China’s Xinjiang province. Torture is widespread in the concentration camps, and thousands have died in them. Uighur cemeteries have been destroyed in a campaign some have called cultural genocide.
But many progressives think America is more racist than China. Thus, they argue, it lacks any moral authority to criticize China’s human-rights violations. “We cannot lecture China on their treatment of the Uyghurs,” said Texas Democratic Senate nominee M.J. Hegar.
Contrary to what progressives may think, America treats its minorities much better than Communist China. In our country, members of racial minority groups have held the highest positions, such as president, Supreme Court Justice, and senator. Blacks and Hispanics receive racial preferences in admission to selective colleges. And while there are racial differences in incomes (the average black household has a lower income than the average white household, and whites have lower incomes than Asians, on average), even minorities who are below the poverty line have enough to live on.
Poverty isn’t killing off minorities: Hispanics actually live three years longer than whites, according to the Centers for Disease Control, even though their income is lower. Nor are minorities targeted for elimination by our government. In 2019, 9 unarmed black people were shot and killed by the police, compared with 19 whites, in a country of 330 million people. A study by the black Harvard economist Roland Fryer found that race is not a significant factor in police shootings.
Even most Americans below the federal poverty line have a living standard that is higher than most Europeans. For example, 97% of “poor” households have a color TV. Half of them own their own home, and those that do typically have a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio. As Robert Rector, an analyst at The Heritage Foundation, noted:
Overall, the typical American defined as poor by the government has a car, air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry.
African immigrants to the United States, especially those from Nigeria, actually out-earn whites in America, contradicting claims that America is systematically and structurally racist.
By contrast, demographic genocide in China was reported by the Associated Press:
The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities…even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children…The campaign over the past four years in the far west region of Xinjiang is leading to what some experts are calling a form of “demographic genocide.”
The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands, the interviews and data show. Even while the use of IUDs and sterilization has fallen nationwide, it is rising sharply in Xinjiang….The result of the birth control campaign is a climate of terror around having children, as seen in interview after interview. Birth rates in the mostly Uighur regions of Hotan and Kashgar plunged by more than 60% from 2015 to 2018, the latest year available in government statistics. Across the Xinjiang region, birth rates continue to plummet, falling nearly 24% last year alone.
The progressive press has often ignored atrocities committed by Communist regimes against minority groups. In the 1930s, the New York Times concealed the “terror famine,” in which the Russian communist dictator Joseph Stalin deliberately starved to death at least three million Ukrainians. The Times denied any famine was occurring, and its correspondent, Walter Duranty, wrote glowing reports about bountiful harvests, while receiving expensive gifts from the Russian government.
Progressive newspapers also concealed mass murder committed by China’s communist government against a Buddhist sect known as Falun Gong. Thousands of Falun Gong members have been tortured to death or had their organs forcibly extracted before they were killed.
As Caylan Ford notes at Arc Digital, “over a million” Falun Gong members “have been detained without trial in reeducation camps. When they’re not performing forced labor and making goods for export, they are tortured, beaten, shocked with electric batons, and put through coercive ideological ‘transformation.'” Yet, the New York Times minimized these atrocities. For example, “In 2015, a Beijing-based correspondent for The New York Times found evidence that prisoners of conscience (likely including Falun Gong faithful) were being killed to supply a lucrative trade in human organs. Chinese transplant surgeons had spoken about it in her presence. Her editors told her not to pursue the story.” In 2001, the Times published several “articles that ‘uncritically advanced Communist Party narratives that Falun Gong was dangerous, that it had already been crushed, and that its adherents benefited from ideological reprogramming in labor camps.” One article wrote, “the re-education center is more comfortable than my home … police in the center are very polite and kind.’”