President Joe bidenJoe BidenREAD: Huge COVID-19 relief bill from House Democrats unveils .9T relief program Nunes lawsuit against CNN dismissed MORE Recently, the same argument of cultural relativism has been used by authoritarians and dictators to defend against the concept of universal human rights since World War II.
Talk to a town hall meeting hosted by CNN in Milwaukee, Biden reflected on his recent phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He said Xi Jinping’s central tenet is that there must be a united and tightly controlled China. And he uses his justification for the things he does on that basis. I point out to him that no American president can be supported as president if he does not reflect the values of the United States, Biden said. And so the idea that I’m not going to denounce what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uyghurs in the western mountains of China and Taiwan, trying to end the politics of one China by making it energetic, I said in passing, he said he understood it. Culturally, there are different standards that each country and its leaders are expected to follow.
The new US president appeared to be recounting how he told Xi that he raised human rights concerns only to meet the expectations of American voters. What is more, and worse, is that with these words, Biden who hassworn making human rights a priority in its foreign policy endorsed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) concept of human rights with Chinese characteristics, according to which the CCP can define what human rights are and who is entitled to it. However, the concept of universal human rights means that human rights are not granted by the state to its citizens, but are inherent and inalienable: no law can take them away.
Bidens’ comments appear to undermine plans announced by the administration to uphold international standards and also appear to contradict those of the secretary of state. Antony blinkAntony Blinken The Hill’s 12:30 p.m. report: Spring vaccination outlook US officially joins Paris climate deal Biden administration ready to resume nuclear talks with Iran READ MORE, who said China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority amounts to genocide and the United States amount to for human rights and democratic values in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong.
While President TrumpDonald Trump UN report says Erik Prince violated arms embargo on Libya: Lee report after Romney impeachment vote: There is enough room in GOP ‘for both of us’ The Nunes trial against CNN is rejected MORE was often insensitive to human rights, he had at least no history of involvement in international politics. But Biden is one of the most seasoned US presidents in international affairs history. And he appeared to signal that he will not let human rights hamper cooperation with China. We are witnessing the same embarrassing dance around Xi that we have seen in the past from those who wish to engage with China and therefore seek to avoid offending Xi and the CCP. The losers are the Chinese people and the principle of human rights as an objective moral standard, as opposed to an arbitrary legal standard.
In this, Biden is no different from German Chancellor Angela Merkel who, at the head of the European Union, signed the Comprehensive investment agreement (CAI) with China on December 30: apparently ready to ignore the issue of human rights to satisfy the interests of the German and European business community. Human rights activists had hoped Biden would draw Germany and Europe to human rights, rather than being drawn to moral opportunism and mercantilism dominating EU foreign policy .
Bidens’ comments also remind us how Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton Nation reporter says states voting order is ‘critical’ to presidential primary On The Money: What’s next for Neera Tanden, Manchin, to be nominated to oppose the Biden’s choice of Neera Tanden PLUS, in its first approaches in China in 2009, approved the mock China to demand growth in employment and social programs meant respect for human rights. Then the Chinese media ostensibly promoted his words as proof of the Americas renunciation of the country’s fundamental human rights belief, namely freedom. Indeed, while many have argued that the Biden administration’s foreign policy must not be simply a retreading of Obamas, Biden appears to be prepared to put human rights on the back burner, as the president has done. Obama with regard to Iran and Cuba. Leaving Iranian protesters hanging out to dry in 2009, without a strong endorsement of their right to political freedom, Obama also undermined decades of US human rights diplomacy by legitimize the communist definition of Cuban regimes of human rights as state-provided social rights like China.
But there is a difference between Bidens’ forfeiture of human rights and that of Hillary Clinton and Barack obamaBarack Hussein Obama The Memo: Biden bets big on immigration Limbaugh’s critics resurface with inflammatory comments after his death Obamas production company acquires 9/11 victims fund drama starring Michael Keaton MORE. While appeasing the socialist interpretation of human rights, as opposed to an interpretation centered on freedoms, conforming to the American Constitution, Bidens’ words suggest that he totally denies the universality of human rights. This message is music to the ears of authoritarians and dictators around the world, but deeply disheartening to those who hope America can defend inherent freedoms.
Judith Bergman is a writer, lawyer and political analyst based in Israel. Follow her on Twitter @judithbergman.
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