Biden on China's abuses: Let me explain 'cultural norms'

Monday, February 22, 2021
Charlie Butts, Billy Davis (

Tiananmen Square tank manA longtime expert on China and its authoritarian government says a cringe-worthy comment from President Biden can likely be traced to the flow of money between the two countries and, in particular, to the Biden family’s business ties to China.   

In a town hall aired on CNN, President Biden was asked to address China’s human rights abuses. The president delivered a rambling response that raised eyebrows after he described the “cultural norms” from the U.S. and from China.

“Because [Biden] wants to go soft on China,” observes Population Research Institute spokesman Steven Mosher, “he's going to excuse China's behavior of torture, of concentration camps, of genocide, of the harvesting of organs, all of this in the name of some sort of bizarre ‘cultural norm’ in China.”

During the town hall, in his response about China's human rights record, Biden demonstrated he was aware of several hot-button issues. He knew, for example, that the tortured and enslaved Uyghurs (pictured below) are located in China’s western mountains, and he mentioned China’s ongoing threat to Taiwan, which is under constant threat of a military invasion under China’s “One China” policy.

Uyghur prisonersBut it was the new U.S. president’s “cultural norms” comment that set off a firestorm.

Describing the role of Xi Jinping, China’s authoritarian president, Biden seemed to imply there is a gentlemen’s agreement in which Jinping keeps a tight rule over his country while Biden is obligated to criticize him for harming his own citizens.

“Culturally,” Biden seemingly explained, “there are different norms in each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”

According to Mosher, who lived in China for several years and observed its abuses, it is “horrible” what the communist-led country is doing to its own people, and it was horrible for Biden to justify it.  

“You know, I wonder what these Wyghur women, in China's concentration camps, would say about that as they're chained down in bed every night,” Mosher says, referring to documented reports of rapes by prison guards.

'America First' a rare exception

The “America First” policy imposed by Donald Trump temporarily hampered China’s plans to dominate the globe, but the former president’s harsh criticism and tariffs on Chinese-made goods frustrated both Republicans and Democrats. Lawmakers in both political parties, multi-billion dollar corporations, and groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce want to keep billions of dollars in goods flowing while ignoring both China's torture of its own people and the CCP's view that the U.S. is an enemy of China, not just an economic competitor.  

Ignoring China’s evils are well-documented in U.S. politics. After the Tiananmen Square massacre, President George H.W. Bush secretly sent a delegation to China in an effort to normalize relations after the U.S imposed sanctions for the blood-soaked crackdown that killed and imprisoned thousands of democracy-seeking citizens.

China Shipping Line (Chinese goods)More than three decades later, the Biden administration is now faced with a more powerful and wealthy China, and Mosher says the Biden family’s open business dealings only complicate that problem.  

“Hunter Biden has a big investment in China,” Mosher points out. “Biden's brother has a big investment in China.”

Those business dealings are not right-wing claims. They have been documented by liberal news outlets such as The New York Times, which reported that Hunter Biden used his family’s name, and his father’s political influence, to enrich himself and his uncle, James Biden. There is no evidence Joe Biden benefitted financially from the business dealings, the Times reported last year, despite the claims of a former business partner who alleged a portion of the billion-dollar deals went directly to the then-vice president. 


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