Joe Biden apparently doesn’t think America’s focus on human rights makes it superior to authoritarian regimes that systematically violate their people’s basic human rights.
At least that’s what he told Xi Jinping before the Chinese leader assumed his country’s top office, according to a report in the New Yorker magazine.
During meetings with Biden sometime in 2011 or 2012, Xi reportedly asked Biden why the U.S. places “so much emphasis on human rights”
“No President of the United States could represent the United States were he not committed to human rights,” Biden reportedly responded. “If you don’t understand this, you can’t deal with us. President Barack Obama would not be able to stay in power if he did not speak of it. So look at it as a political imperative. It doesn’t make us better or worse. You make your decisions. We’ll make ours.”
Catch that? Upholding human rights standards apparently doesn’t make a country “better or worse,” according to Biden.
Say what you will about what America’s role should be in pushing authoritarian and totalitarian regimes to treat their people more humanely and grant them more freedoms. But it is pretty astounding for an American leader to claim that it makes no moral difference how a country treats its people.