ALN has co-signed a public letter to US President Biden along with 58 other organizations calling for him to prioritize human rights when speaking to Xi Jinping during the upcoming APEC Summit.

President Biden: Prioritize Human Rights When Speaking to Xi Jinping during the APEC Summit

November 7, 2023      

Joseph R. Biden

President of the United States of America

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20500

Re: Prioritize Human Rights When Speaking to Xi Jinping during the APEC Summit

Dear President Biden,

On behalf of 59 organizations and individuals devoted to improving respect for human rights in China and communities the Chinese government impacts, we write to urge you to prioritize concerns about Beijing’s lack of concrete human rights improvements in your discussions with Chinese leader Xi Jinping during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco.

We welcome your administration’s earlier statements that the US government will hold the Chinese government “accountable for its abuses of the international system,” and the promise that the US will impose consequences on the Chinese government for its ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in the Uyghur region.

The Chinese government is punishing human rights defenders and rights lawyers with increasing cruelty. Most independent civil society groups have been disbanded and their members jailed, tortured, or forced to continue their work underground. Numerous UN bodies have similarly raised serious concerns about arbitrary detention, forced labor, cultural and language rights, and sexual and gender-based violence. 

Over the past year, your administration and multiple UN human rights bodies have raised alarm at the escalation of human rights abuses in Tibet, including the residential boarding school system that has seen at least one million Tibetan children separated from their families and communities. 

In East Turkistan (which the Chinese government refers to as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region), the government continues to subject Uyghurs and other Turkic groups to widespread, systematic persecution on the basis of their ethnic and religious identity.

In Hong Kong, the promulgation of the National Security Law (NSL) by Beijing in 2020 has led to the dismantling of civil society and people’s fundamental rights and freedoms, and the targeting of academics, media outlets, and NGOs, affecting millions of Hong Kongers. 

The Chinese government has used its power and influence to attempt to silence the voice of civil society outside China’s borders and has taken steps to actively undermine internationally recognized human rights norms. The government’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners remains unrelenting. 

We therefore urge that you to deliver the following clear and strong messages to Xi Jinping:

Xi Jinping and his government are assaulting human rights on a scale unprecedented in decades. President Biden, you have a unique opportunity to send strong messages to Xi Jinping about your position on human rights, which will likely have an impact in halting – and possibly reversing – this crisis.