News and Analysis

‘Alleged Unfair Practices’: CNN Bows To China On Eve Of Biden-Xi Visit

   DailyWire.com
Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As President Joe Biden prepared for his virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday evening, CNN continued a streak of minimizing and dismissing criticisms of the communist regime from current NBA star Enes Kanter, a former Chinese dissident, and the global business community.

CNN posted an “opinion” story by Nury Turkel last Wednesday titled “I was born in a Chinese ‘reeducation camp.’ I’m watching history repeat itself.” Turkel, a senior fellow at the right-of-center Hudson Institute, wrote that he was born inside a Uighur detention center during the Cultural Revolution, “a period of totalitarian zeal: Almost anyone suspected of not being adequately communist was beaten, jailed or killed. Religious and ethnic minorities were particular targets.” Turkel warned that modern-day China resembles his nightmarish childhood, and that “many of the products enjoyed by Western countries are made by interned Uyghurs in China. According to several reports, Uyghur forced labor contributes significantly to the world economy — particularly solar-panel manufacturing and cotton-growing industries.”

But CNN posted an unsigned “Editor’s Note” at the bottom of the article, essentially exonerating China of Turkel’s charges:

The Chinese government has repeatedly denied any allegations of crimes — including forced labor and forced sterilization — against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples. It claims it is providing the Uyghurs with education at “vocational training centers” while assisting in deradicalization efforts to combat alleged terrorism.

Yet, few human rights authorities question the reality of China’s exploitation of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang province. “The government of China has detained between one and three million Uyghurs—an ethnic and religious minority living in northwestern China—in detention camps and other facilities where they are reportedly subject to mistreatment, torture, and forced labor,” according to the human rights watchdog Freedom House. The U.S. State Department fleshed out the list of human rights abuses perpetrated against the nation’s Uighur population by the Chinese Communist Party to include “arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians; forced sterilization, coerced abortions, and more restrictive application of China’s birth control policies; rape; torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained; forced labor; and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement.”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) publicized CNN’s disclaimer to his 4.6 million followers on Twitter, writing, “CNN editors, who have 0 hesitation about publishing trash allegations against anyone they perceive as not leftwing enough, took an article by a Uyghur-American advocate exposing China’s ongoing genocide & added an ‘Editor’s Note’ pushing CCP propaganda.”

The same day, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour tweeted that NBA star Enes Kanter “has been using his stardom to take a stand against what he sees as human rights violations committed by the Chinese government. ‘China uses money to buy silence,’ Kanter tells me in a TV exclusive. ‘I don’t care about your endorsement deal.’” (Emphasis added.)

Kanter, a center for the Boston Celtics, has denounced Chinese President Xi Jinping as the “brutal dictator of China.” He told his international audience that “as I speak this message, torture, rape, forced abortions, sterilizations, family separations, arbitrary detentions, concentration camps, political reeducation, forced labor.”

“NBA made me do this,” Kanter told Amanpour. “I don’t do politics. I do human rights.”

The Turkish-born Kanter said he felt obligated to speak when so many others in his profession remained silent. “There are so many athletes, so many actors, so many singers and so many people who have a platform that are speaking out about many of the issues out there in the world,” he said. “But when it comes to China … they are scared, because they care too much about money; they care too much about business; and they care too much about endorsement deals.”

CNN’s denial turned to the economic front early Monday morning, as CNN reported on the virtual tete-a-tete, correspondent David Culver said that “U.S./China relations have been growing tenser since 2018 when Former President Trump launched his trade war over Beijing’s alleged unfair practices, slapping massive tariffs on Chinese goods.” (Emphasis added.) China’s notorious trade practices — including wholesale violations of intellectual property rights and support for state-sponsored industries that Republicans and Democrats alike say violate WTO rules — came under fire during the World Trade Organization’s review on the 20th anniversary of China’s WTO membership.

The president’s visit comes just days after China engaged in combat drills after a U.S. congressional delegation visited Taiwan.

Despite the robust tensions between the United States and China, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki indicated the president would not be confrontational during his meeting. “The two leaders will discuss ways to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the PRC,” she said on Friday.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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