Chinese state media did not relent in its attacks on President Joe Biden, publishing a column on Thursday accusing him of attempting to “ring-fence China,” a day after Biden appeared to justify the construction of over 1,000 concentration camps for ethnic minorities in the country.
Speaking at a town hall event produced by CNN, Biden claimed that placing Uyghur individuals and members of other Muslim-majority ethnic groups in concentration camps was a way for dictator Xi Jinping to keep the country “unified.” He claimed that he had chastised Xi on China’s litany of human rights abuses, but that the comments were perfunctory, and that Xi “gets it” that Biden is politically obligated to mention the issue.
The U.S. government estimates that as many as 2 million people remain trapped in the Chinese concentration camp system as of 2020. Survivors of the camps have testified to outrageous human rights atrocities including extensive torture, rape, evidence of live organ harvesting, indoctrination, and slavery. In a particularly gruesome account published by the BBC this month, witnesses testified to Han Chinese guards using electric batons to rape women and electrocute them simultaneously. Some women said they were forced to tie other women up to beds so that unknown men could come to the camp on a nightly basis and gang-rape them. Extensive evidence has also revealed the use of forced sterilization and abortions on Uyghur women, a tactic international legal experts accept as a form of genocide.