China’s crackdown on the Uighur Muslim population is not just part of “a different norm,” as President Biden put it, an exile and activist told The Post — calling on the Biden administration to take action against the Chinese Communist Party over the “genocide.”
Tahir Imin, 40, — who was forced to flee his home in 2017 due to the increasingly oppressive political environment — was responding to comments President Biden made during a CNN town hall last month when asked about Beijing’s horrific treatment of Uighur Muslims.
As part of his answer, Biden told host CNN Anderson Cooper, “Culturally, there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”
But Imin, who as a Uighur has experienced China’s systemic abuse firsthand, told The Post that: “We cannot say it’s the cultural norm of a people — but it’s the norm of the Chinese Communist Party.”
“The Chinese Communist Party should be accused for that and be accountable for that,” he said.
The commander-in-chief made the remarks after being asked during his CNN town hall on Feb. 17 about his recent conversation with his Chinese counterpart, starting his response by relaying Xi’s justification for the abuses.
“If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been, the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home,” Biden began. “So the central — well, vastly overstated — the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”
President Biden continued in his response that he is “not going to speak out against” the Chinese Communist Party’s belligerent actions in Hong Kong, against the Uighurs, or in Taiwan, but did say that he would “reflect the values of the United States.”
“I point out to him no American president can be sustained as a president, if he doesn’t reflect the values of the United States,” the US president continued. “And so the idea that I am not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uighurs in western mountains of China and Taiwan — trying to end the one China policy by making it forceful … [Xi] gets it.”
Though he said that “there will be repercussions for China,” Biden didn’t detail what those would be other than saying America would, “reassert our role as spokespersons for human rights at the UN and other agencies.”
This came after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, in January, endorsed a determination from his Republican predecessor, Mike Pompeo, that China’s treatment of Uighurs amounts to genocide.
“It’s a good message and a good signal for the Uighur community,” Imin said of Blinken’s comments.
“But so far, we didn’t see new actions.”
He warned that “just criticizing” the CCP “wouldn’t be enough.”
“Any country [that] believes that China committed genocide, they shouldn’t do business with China, because China did commit genocide against Uighur people,” Imin said.
The academic, now based in Washington DC, said he believes the Biden administration may be “considering how to make China stop these atrocities” possibly with new measures or sanctions.
He suggested that the US boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing — and also said America “should lead a coalition” of international allies to “stop the Uighur genocide.”
“There should be a coalition against the Chinese Communist Party, of course, but the most important thing for us as a Uighur, we believe that without international effort, one country cannot stop it.”
Asked what would happen if the global community doesn’t take action, Imin said: “I think we are at the brink of extinction.”
“If the international [community] stands up for us and save us from this genocide, Uighurs will never forget this,” he said.
“We need help,” he added. “It is true, it’s urgent.”
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