WARNING: This story contains details that some readers may find disturbing
In a town hall event broadcast on CNN, Joe Biden promised that there would be ‘repercussions’ for Chinese human rights abuses. Biden was responding to questions about the brutal treatment endured by China’s Muslim Uighur minority, who China is believed to be imprisoning and torturing. The President also said that he wants to reassert America’s role in the world in speaking up about human rights abuses.
China, under the guise of counter-terrorism, has been brutally imprisoning, torturing, brainwashing, forcibly sterilising, and even raping Muslims in the province of Xinjiang. China claims the prison camps are ‘re-education camps’, though many who have left them allege serious human rights abuses.
One former detainee, Tursunay Ziawudun, alleges that systematic rape took place inside the camp, calling it ‘perhaps the most unforgettable scar on me forever’. She spent nine months in the prison camps, where more than a million men and women have been detained. She claims that women were taken from their cells ‘every night’ and raped by men in suits.
Another woman, when interviewed by the BBC, said that her job had been to strip Uighur women naked and then leave them alone with Chinese men, who ‘would pay money to have their pick of the prettiest young inmates.’ She said that her ‘job was to remove their clothes above the waist and handcuff them so they cannot move.’ After the man left the room, the woman says she would take the woman to have a shower. When asked whether there was a system of organised rape, the woman replied ‘Yes, rape.’
Forced sterilisation is also alleged to take place in the camps, with reports emerging that China forces women to take birth control. China calls these allegations ‘baseless’, though the consensus around the world is that China is indeed carrying out these horrific acts. The previous administration, under President Donald Trump, condemned the human rights abuses, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling on China to ‘immediately end these horrific practices’ in the wake of the forced sterilisation accusations.
However, many people feel like more action is needed to stem what some are saying could be called a ‘genocide’. The US State Department has already said that it was ‘deeply disturbed’ by the reports of systemic rape and sexual abuse against women, and Biden brought up the treatment of Uighurs in a phone call with Chinese leader Xi Jingping. Last night Joe Biden seemed to confirm that he would take a tough stance on China, though whether or not his promise bears fruit is yet to be seen.
“China is trying very hard to become a world leader and to get that moniker and be able to do that they have to gain the confidence of other countries,” Biden said last night.
“As long as they are engaged in activity that is contrary to basic human rights, it is going to be hard for them to do that.”