human rights

Biden says China to face repercussions on human rights

Biden says China to face repercussions on human rights


Jeff Mason

·1 min read  

U.S. President Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall in Milwaukee

By Jeff Mason

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Reuters) – China will pay a price for its human rights abuses, U.S. President Joe Biden warned on Tuesday, responding to queries at a televised event on the Asian nation’s handling of Muslim minorities in its far western region of Xinjiang.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has drawn global criticism for holding the minority Uighurs in internment camps and other human rights abuses.

“Well, there will be repercussions for China and he knows that,” Biden said of Xi, when pressed on the issue at the town hall event televised on broadcaster CNN.

The United States will reassert its global role in speaking up for human rights, Biden said, adding that he would work with the international community to get China to protect them.

“China is trying very hard to become a world leader and to get that moniker and be able to do that they have to gain the confidence of other countries,” Biden said on his first official trip since taking office as president in January.

“As long as they are engaged in activity that is contrary to basic human rights, it is going to be hard for them to do that,” he added.

In a two hour phone call with Xi this month, Biden emphasized the U.S. priority of preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region, where the United States and China are major strategic rivals.

He also voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and rights issues, such as its Hong Kong crackdown, the Xinjiang internments, and increasingly assertive actions in Asia, including toward Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Clarence Fernandez)

Biden in call with China’s Xi raises human rights, trade

Biden in call with China’s Xi raises human rights, trade

Associated Press
President Joe Biden speaks at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)



Joe Biden on Wednesday held his first call as president with Xi Jinping, pressing the Chinese leader about trade and Beijing’s crackdown on democracy activists in Hong Kong as well as other human rights concerns.

The two leaders spoke just hours after Biden announced plans for a Pentagon task force to review U.S. national security strategy in China and after the new U.S. president announced he was levying sanctions against Myanmar’s military regime following this month’s coup in the southeast Asian country.

A White House statement said Biden raised concerns about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair economic practices.” Biden also pressed Xi on Hong Kong, human rights abuses against Uighur and ethnic minorities in the western Xinjiang province, and its actions toward Taiwan.

“I told him I will work with China when it benefits the American people,” Biden posted on Twitter after the call.

China’s state broadcaster CCTV struck a mostly positive tone about the conversation, saying Xi acknowledged the two sides had their differences, and those differences should be managed, but urged overall cooperation.

CCTV said Xi pushed back against Biden’s concerns on Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, saying the issues are China’s internal affairs and concern Chinese sovereignty. He warned, “The U.S. should respect China’s core interests and act with caution.”

Biden, who had dealt with the Chinese leader when he served as Barack Obama’s vice president, used his first three weeks in the White House to make several calls with other leaders in the Indo-Pacific region. He has tried to send the message that he would take a radically different approach to China than former President Donald Trump, who placed trade and economic issues above all else in the U.S.-China relationship.

With Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga late last month, Biden underscored the U.S. commitment to protecting the Senkaku Islands, a group of uninhabited islets administered by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing. In his call with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Biden emphasized the need for “close cooperation to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.” And in his call with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week, the president highlighted that the two nations’ alliance was essential to stability in the region, the White House said.

Top aides to Biden have repeatedly heard from Asia-Pacific counterparts who had become discouraged by Trump’s frequently sharp rhetoric aimed at allies, talk of reducing troop levels in South Korea and odd interactions with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private calls.

Allies in the region have made clear they want a more purposeful and steady approach to engagements going forward, according to the official.

To that end, Biden and other top administration officials have taken care in their initial interactions with their counterparts to look to the long game in resetting the relationships.

Biden used Wednesday’s call to raise concerns about Beijing’s crackdown on activists in Hong Kong and about its policies affecting Muslims and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. In the final hours of the Trump administration, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the Chinese Communist Party had committed crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uighurs and other minority groups.

China has denied any abuses and says the steps it has taken are necessary to combat terrorism and a separatist movement.

The White House also said Biden made clear his concern about Beijing’s increasingly “assertive” action with Taiwan. Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, even as the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

Days into Biden’s presidency, China dispatched warplanes close to the island. The U.S. Navy, in turn, last week sent a guided-missile destroyer through the waterway that separates China and Taiwan.

One area that Biden doesn’t appear ready to move quickly on is discontinuing Trump’s trade war with China, which led to tariffs on their steel, aluminum and other goods.

Biden plans to leave the tariffs in place as his administration conducts a top-to-bottom review of trade policy. Administration officials note that the president is still awaiting confirmation of his U.S. trade representative nominee, Katherine Tai, and his pick for commerce secretary, Gina Raimondo. Both are expected to play key roles in helping shape China trade policy.

Administration officials say Biden also wants to consult with allies in Asia and Europe before making decisions on tariffs.

Biden and Xi know each other well and have had frank exchanges.

Biden played host to then-Chinese vice president Xi during his 2012 visit to the United States. Biden used that visit to get a read of Xi and was blunt at moments, even raising concerns about Chinese theft of intellectual property and human rights abuses during a luncheon toast.

The following year, when Biden visited China, he publicly criticized Beijing for refusing to affirm that it would renew the visas of American journalists and for blocking the websites of American-based news media sites.

Biden has said he believes there are areas where the U.S. and China can work closely, such as addressing climate change and preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. But ultimately, Biden said recently, he expects the U.S.-China relationship to be one of “extreme competition” in coming years.

On Thursday, China’s state broadcaster said Xi told Biden: “You’ve said America’s greatest feature is possibility. I hope that this type of possibility will develop in a way that is conducive to improving relations between the two countries.”


Associated Press writer Huizhong Wu in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed to this report.

Biden admin blasts China for ‘cynical’ Inauguration Day sanctions on Trump officials

Biden admin blasts China for ‘cynical’ Inauguration Day sanctions on Trump officials

NBC News

Adela Suliman and Isabel Wang

 That didn’t take long.

Within hours of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, his foreign policy team began wrangling with one of the administration’s biggest challenges: China.

The U.S. labeled as “unproductive and cynical” a slew of sanctions China imposed on outgoing Donald Trump officials just as the inauguration was taking place.

“Imposing these sanctions on Inauguration Day is seemingly an attempt to play to partisan divides,” Emily Horne, a spokeswoman for President Biden’s National Security Council, told Reuters on Wednesday. “President Biden looks forward to working with leaders in both parties to position America to out-compete China.”

China responded by criticizing the outgoing administration, and calling for healing and better relations between the two countries — even using a line from Biden’s inauguration speech.

“I believe if both countries work together, better angels in the U.S.-China relations could defeat evil forces,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press briefing on Thursday.

In his speech emphasizing the need for unity to triumph over division, Biden on Wednesday said: “Through struggle, sacrifice and setbacks, our better angels have always prevailed,” — a phrase borrowed from Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 inaugural address.

The rhetorical exchange follows four years of worsened U.S.-China relations, with Trump and members of his team blaming the Covid-19 pandemic on China, using racist terms to describe the virus and criticizing Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong protesters and its Uighur Muslim minority.

During this time, the countries — the world’s two largest economies — also became locked in a damaging trade war.

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Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington attended Biden’s inauguration with an official invitation, a first, which could indicate the new president will continue with Trump’s increased support for the self-governed island that Beijing claims as part of China.

However, while it has signaled that it will maintain pressure on Beijing, Biden’s team is widely expected to take a more traditional, diplomatic and multilateral approach than Trump’s did.

China placed sanctions on 28 Trump officials on Wednesday, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro and Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services Secretary. The measures bar travel to Hong Kong, Macao or mainland China, and restrict any organizations they run from doing business there, according to a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry.

In his final weeks in office, Pompeo unleashed a barrage of measures against China, and said Tuesday that Beijing had committed “genocide and crimes against humanity” against its Uighur Muslim population.

China has repeatedly rejected accusations of abuse in its Xinjiang region, where the United Nations says at least 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained in camps.

Biden’s choice to succeed Pompeo, Antony Blinken, said Tuesday he agreed with Pompeo’s assessment. He told his Senate confirmation hearing there was “no doubt” China posed the most significant challenge to the United States of any nation.

China’s telecom giants ask for Wall Street relisting

China’s telecom giants ask for Wall Street relisting

·2 min read

China Telecom sign with Chinese flags
China Telecom sign with Chinese flags

Three Chinese telecom giants have asked the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to review its decision to delist them.

The NYSE initially said it would delist China Unicom, China Mobile and China Telecom on 7 January based on a Donald Trump executive order.

After a surprising U-turn in which the US stock exchange changed its mind it eventually settled on delisting them.

Following Mr Trump’s departure from the White House, the three companies have now requested a review from the NYSE.

In near-identical statements the telecoms firms, which are state-backed in China, said they “had complied strictly with the laws and regulations, market rules as well as regulatory requirements”.

The executive order from former President Trump barred Americans from investing in public companies the US government says has links with the Chinese military.

Incoming president Joe Biden has already started overturning some of Mr Trump’s executive orders although its is unclear if he will address the many that have concerned Chinese companies.

Dramatic U-turn

The NYSE agreed to delist all three on 31 December, but within days it reversed the decision based on “further consultation” with regulatory authorities.

But that reversal was short lived, with the NYSE announcing just days later that it would press ahead with its initial decision to delist based on “new specific guidance” from the US Treasury Department.

Stock market index providers MSCI, FTSE Russell and S&P Dow Jones Indices all removed the telecoms firms from benchmarks this month, wiping a combined $5.6bn (£4.1bn) off the value of their Hong Kong-traded shares.

The three companies earn all of their revenue in China and have no significant presence in the US.

Like many other large Chinese companies, they have a dual listing in the US and Hong Kong.

There are currently more than 200 Chinese companies listed on US stock markets with a total market capitalization of $2.2tn (£1.6tn).

Shares of all three companies edged slightly lower on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Thursday.

California WeChat users claim China surveillance in lawsuit

California WeChat users claim China surveillance in lawsuit

“There is no reasonable alternative to WeChat for anyone wishing to maintain regular contact with the Chinese-speaking world,” reads a lawsuit claiming the mobile app is used for spying on Chinese government critics


California WeChat users sued its parent company Tencent on Wednesday, saying the mobile app is used for spying on and censoring users for the Chinese government.

US-based nonprofit Citizen Power Initiatives for China (CPIFC) filed the suit in Silicon Valley, joined by a half-dozen California residents in urging a state court to order Tencent to change its ways and pay damages.

“As the global erosion of democratic values shows little sign of relenting, this lawsuit is part of our attempt to slow that erosion, and to perhaps help turn the tide, by relying on the rule of law,” CPIFC president Yang Jianli said in a release.

“Democracy depends on being able to communicate free of politically motivated censorship, and hopefully this lawsuit will help Chinese-speaking Californians, who make up so much of the Chinese diaspora, do just that.”

Tencent’s relationship with the Chinese government enables it to keep competition out of the market while honing its algorithm to better censor or mine user data, the suit argued.

“There is no reasonable alternative to WeChat for anyone wishing to maintain regular contact with the Chinese-speaking world,” the suit contended.

California WeChat users and others “sacrifice a panoply of speech, privacy, and other rights as a condition of using WeChat,” according to the suit.

CPIFC described itself as a US-based nonprofit encouraging a transition to democracy in China.

“For all that a WeChat user can do on the WeChat platform, what they cannot readily do – including in California – is send messages perceived as critical of the Party-state,” the lawsuit contended.

“Such messages tend to be blocked, censored, deleted, and can lead to the blocking, suspension, or deletion of the user’s account.”

Comments made on WeChat by users in California to family members in China have led to visits from security agents in that country, according to the lawsuit.

Tencent could not be reached for comment.

Before leaving office this month, former US President Donald Trump ordered a ban on Alipay, WeChat Pay and other apps linked to Chinese companies, saying they could route user information to the government in Beijing.

The executive order is to take effect in February, barring reversal by President Joe Biden.

Biden administration calls China sanctions on Trump officials ‘unproductive and cynical’

Biden administration calls China sanctions on Trump officials ‘unproductive and cynical’

Inauguration of Biden as 46th President of United States

 Michael Martina  

By Michael Martina

(Reuters) – China’s move to sanction former Trump administration officials was “unproductive and cynical”, a spokeswoman for President Joe Biden’s National Security Council said on Wednesday, urging Americans from both parties to condemn the action.

Around the time Biden was sworn in as president on Wednesday China announced sanctions against “lying and cheating” outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and 27 other top officials under former President Donald Trump, a striking repudiation of its relationship with Washington under Trump.

China’s foreign ministry said Pompeo and the others had “planned, promoted and executed” moves that had interfered in its internal affairs. It banned the ex-officials and immediate family members from entering China, and restricted companies associated with them from doing business in the country.

“Imposing these sanctions on Inauguration Day is seemingly an attempt to play to partisan divides,” Biden’s National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement to Reuters.

“Americans of both parties should criticize this unproductive and cynical move. President Biden looks forward to working with leaders in both parties to position America to out-compete China,” Horne said.

Pompeo, who unleashed a barrage of measures against China in his final weeks in office, declared on Tuesday that China had committed “genocide and crimes against humanity” against Uighur Muslims.

“This so-called determination by Pompeo is nothing but paper,” a Chinese foreign Ministery spokesperson said in response. “This U.S. politician is notorious for lying and cheating, is making himself a laughing stock and a clown.”

China has repeatedly rejected accusations of abuse in its Xinjiang region, where a United Nations panel has said at least 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims had been detained in camps.

Biden’s choice to succeed Pompeo, Antony Blinken, said on Tuesday he agreed with Pompeo’s assessment.

He told his Senate confirmation hearing there was “no doubt” China posed the most significant challenge to the United States of any nation, and that he believed there was a very strong foundation to build a bipartisan U.S. policy to stand up to Beijing.

(Reporting by Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Tom Hogue and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Twitter says it locked account of China’s U.S. embassy over Xinjiang-related tweet

Twitter says it locked account of China’s U.S. embassy over Xinjiang-related tweet

FILE PHOTO: Protest outside Twitter headquarters in San Francisco


SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Twitter has locked the account of China’s U.S. embassy for a tweet that defended China’s policies in the Xinjiang region, which the U.S. social media platform said violated the firm’s policy against “dehumanization”.

The Chinese Embassy account, @ChineseEmbinUS, posted this month saying that Uighur women were no longer “baby making machines,” citing a study reported by state-backed newspaper China Daily.

The tweet was removed by Twitter and replaced by a label stating that it was no longer available. Although Twitter hides tweets that violate its policies, it requires account owners to manually delete such posts. The Chinese embassy’s account has not posted any new tweets since Jan. 9.

“We’ve taken action on the Tweet you referenced for violating our policy against dehumanization, where it states: We prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity,” a Twitter spokesperson said on Thursday.

The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately to a e-mailed request for comment. Twitter is blocked in China.

The embassy’s account suspension comes shortly after Twitter removed the account of former U.S. president Donald Trump, which had 88 million followers, citing the risk of violence after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol this month.

Twitter had locked Trump’s account, asking for deletion of some tweets, before restoring it and then removing it altogether after the former president violated the platform’s policies again.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Gerry Doyle)

Donald Trump grants clemency to 143 people (not himself or family members) in final hours

Donald Trump grants clemency to 143 people (not himself or family members) in final hours

Kevin JohnsonDavid JacksonDennis WagnerUSA TODAY

He granted pardons to 73 people and commuted the sentences of another 70 people, according to a news release from the White House.

Several high-profile figures received pardons, including:

  • Former Republican House member Rick Renzi of Arizona, convicted in 2013 of extortion, bribery, insurance fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. Renzi left prison in 2017.
  • Former Rep. Randall “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., who was released from prison in 2013 after serving eight years for charges of bribery, fraud, and tax evasion.
  • Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., the rapper known as Lil Wayne, who pleaded guilty to possession for a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.
  • Broidy, who pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent and accepting money from Chinese and Malaysian interests to lobby the Trump administration.
  • Bannon, who was awaiting trial in Manhattan on federal fraud charges tied to a border wall fundraising effort.

Trump and Bannon have had an up-and-down relationship since the flamboyant adviser left the White House in 2017. At one point, Trump banished Bannon from his inner circle, claiming that he was a source of a critical book about the president, but Bannon still worked as a prominent backer of Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.

Pardons follow intense lobbying effort; no family members included

For weeks, political allies, defense attorneys and others have staged an intense lobbying campaign, urging Trump to act on behalf of their clients.

The list was released about 1 a.m. Wednesday, with about 11 hours left in Trump’s term.

Soon after, at 1:07 a.m. ET, Trump issued an executive order revoking an ethics rule he authorized in 2017. The move frees former aides from restrictions on lobbying the government.

From the border walls to the federal bench to raging political divisions:How Donald Trump’s presidency has changed America

Trump intervened in the case of rapper Bill Kapri, also known as Kodak Black. The president commuted a 46-month sentence for lying on a background check related to a gun purchase.

Robert Zangrillo, a Miami real estate developer who was part of the recent college entrance scandal, received a full pardon. He was accused of conspiring with a college consultant to bribe officials at the University of Southern California to designate his daughter as a recruit to the crew team.

Paul Erickson, the former boyfriend of Russian operative Maria Butina, also received a pardon. He was sentenced last year to 84 months in prison on charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

Among the white-collar offenders, Trump commuted the sentence of Sholam Weiss, convicted in a $450 million mortgage and insurance fraud scheme. He had been sentenced to 835 years after jumping bail.

Weiss was captured in Austria in 2000. His case was supported by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and Trump attorney Jay Sekulow. Weiss had been scheduled for release in 2738. 

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. 

The list is also notable for who isn’t on it: The president himself, his family and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

In the final weeks of his presidency, some had speculated Trump would issue pre-emptive clemency to shield his family and lawyer from future legal vulnerability. Federal authorities have been investigating Giuliani and his business dealings in Ukraine.

Also not on the list were Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder indicted in 2019 on espionage charges, and Edward Snowden, the fugitive American who leaked secret files revealing vast surveillance operations carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency.

Lawmakers had asked Trump not to pardon Assange and Snowden.

Trump talked to aides about preemptive pardons for Republican lawmakers and others involved in planning the Jan. 6 protests who might face legal problems, an aide said. White House officials talked Trump out of granting pardons connected to the riots.

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Trump’s mass-clemency action loomed as President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris hosted the first national vigil for the more than 400,000 Americans who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last-minute pardons, including disputed ones, are something of a tradition for outgoing presidents.

As he left office in 2001, President Bill Clinton pardoned fugitive financier Marc Rich in a move some analysts tied to financial contributions.

In late 1992, his term soon to expire, President George H.W. Bush pardoned aides involved in the Iran-Contra scandal.

The list of pardons included some who ‘turned their pain into purpose’ 

While many of Trump’s pardons and commutations went to political allies and high-profile criminals, others were doled out to relatively unknown figures, including some who had backing from justice reform advocates.  

Among those was Amy Povah, who received a pardon from Trump after previously having her prison sentence commuted in 2000 by Clinton. Povah, who served nine years of a 24-year sentence in connection with offenses involving Ecstasy, became founder of CAN-Do (Calling for All Non-violent Drug Offenders) Foundation. The pardon record describes her as “a voice for the incarcerated, a champion for criminal justice reform.” 

Another woman, Syrita Steib-Martin, also received a full pardon erasing her conviction, at age 19, for using fire during commission of a felony. After serving 10 years, Steib-Martin founded Operation Restoration to help female convicts make the transition out of prison. 

A third individual, Lou Hobbs, had his sentence commuted by Trump after serving 24 months of a life term for a nonviolent drug offense. 

Opinion:Presidential pardons highlight need for congressional ethics reform

Louis L. Reed, director of national organizing for Dream Corps, a criminal justice reform group, said he was ecstatic to see Hobbs gain redemption because the two men served time together at a federal penitentiary in New York.  

Reed, who also had petitioned for a pardon, said his disappointment in being turned down “pales in comparison to the level of excitement and optimism I have because as one rises we all rise.” 

Reed described Hobbs as an inspirational Christian and self-help teacher behind bars. He said Hobbs, as well as Povah and Steib-Martin, have been “models of positivity” and deserve the relief granted by Trump.  

“They turned their pain into purpose,” he added. 

The 73 pardons and 70 commutations were granted to a cross-section of Americans that included Lavonne Roach, a Lakota Sioux woman who lived through a cycle of abuse and drug addiction that led her to participate in a methamphetamine distribution scheme, according to a summary of her case published by a New York University Law School study that examined clemency candidates who had been passed over in the past. 

Roach was sentenced in 1998 to 30 years in federal prison, said the study, which classified her as one of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders worthy of clemency. 

In prison, she enrolled in a drug treatment program, completed thousands of hours of educational programs, took business-related courses and completed a two-year paralegal program. Now 56, Roach has a scheduled release date of July 2023. 

Another convict, Michael Pelletier, was sentenced to life without parole in 2008 for conspiring to import and distribute marijuana. The NYU study said he used marijuana to cope with the pain and stress of a tractor accident at age 11 that left him paralyzed from the waist down, the study said. 

Pelletier, 64, was the only defendant in his case sentenced to life behind bars. He opted to go to trial while they reached plea deals for lesser sentences, the study said. 

Now using oil painting as an outlet, Pelletier has been certified by the federal Bureau of Prisons to teach art to other inmates. 

Reed, the Dream Corps activist, declined to question whether Trump may have selected some deserving individuals for clemency to dampen the impact of pardons issued to political cronies.

“If he did the right thing for the wrong reasons, that’s something he’ll have to be answerable for at a later date,” Reed said.     

Trump’s previous pardons: Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, others

Before the last round of pardons, Trump has granted clemency to more than 90 people during his term in office, including allies and former aides involved in the investigation of Russian election interference during the 2016 election.

That group includes Paul Manafort, a Trump campaign manager in 2016 who was convicted of defrauding banks; George Papadopoulos, a former campaign aide who admitted lying to the FBI; and Michael Flynn, a retired Army general who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials

Trump also commuted the sentence of longtime political adviser Roger Stone just days before he was set to report to prison after he was convicted of lying to Congress and obstructing the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Among other pardons: Charles Kushner, the father of presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. The elder Kushner has been convicted of preparing false tax returns and witness retaliation.

Pardons have also been granted to two former Republican members of Congress who were early supporters of Trump’s presidential bid: Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who had pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds; and Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who had pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to commit securities fraud.

In many cases, Trump did not work with the pardons office at the Department of Justice, but took action on his own based on requests by lobbyists to him and his top aides.

Legal analysts said Trump turned the presidential pardon power into a personal project designed to reward friends and political supporters.

Full list of Trump pardons Jan. 20:

  • Todd Boulanger, full pardon of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud
  • Abel Holtz, full pardon of impeding a grand jury investigation
  • Rick Renzi, full pardon to representative from Arizona convicted of extortion, bribery, insurance fraud, money laundering and racketeering
  • Kenneth Kurson, full pardon of cyberstalking
  • Casey Urlacher, full pardon of sports betting case
  • Carl Andrews Boggs, full pardon of two counts to corruption
  • James E. Johnson, Jr., full pardon to charges of illegal hunting of wildlife birds
  • Tommaso Buti, full pardon of financial fraud involving his restaurant chain
  • Glen Moss, full pardon of healthcare fraud
  • Anthony Levandowski, full pardon of stealing trade secrets from Google
  • Aviem Sella, full pardon of espionage
  • Michael Liberty, full pardon of campaign finance violations
  • Greg Reyes, full pardon of securities fraud
  • Jeffrey Alan Conway, full pardon of financial reporting fraud
  • Benedict Olberding, full pardon of bank fraud
  • Syrita Steib-Martin, full pardon of the use of fire to commit a felony
  • Eric Wesley Patton, full pardon of making a false statement on a mortgage application
  • Robert William Cawthon, full pardon of making a false statement on a bank loan application
  • Hal Knudson Mergler, full pardon of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of LSD
  • Gary Evan Hendler, full pardon of conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances
  •  John Harold Wall, full pardon of aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • Steven Samuel Grantham, full pardon of stealing a vehicle
  • Clarence Olin Freeman, full pardon of operating an illegal whiskey still
  • Fred Keith Alford, full pardon of a firearm violation
  • Alex Adjmi, full pardon of financial crime
  • Elliott Broidy, full pardon of conspiracy to serve as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal
  • Stephen K. Bannon, full pardon of charges related to fraud stemming from his involvement in a political project
  • Douglas Jemal, full pardon of fraud
  • Dr. Scott Harkonen, full pardon of fraud based on a misleading caption in a press release with respect to a treatment for a disease
  • Johnny D. Phillips, Jr., full pardon of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud
  • Dr. Mahmoud Reza Banki, full pardon of monetary violations of Iranian sanctions and making false statements
  • John Nystrom, full pardon of failure to alert authorities to double payments of subcontractors
  • Gregory Jorgensen, Deborah Jorgensen, Martin Jorgensen, full pardons of knowingly selling misbranded beef
  • Jessica Frease, full pardon of converting stolen checks and negotiating them through the bank where she worked as a teller
  • Robert Cannon “Robin” Hayes, full pardon of making a false statement in the course of a Federal investigation
  • Thomas Kenton “Ken” Ford, full pardon of making material misstatements to Federal mining officials
  • Jon Harder, full pardon of misusing investment funds during the real estate crisis
  • Scott Conor Crosby, full pardon of intent to commit a bank robbery
  • Lynn Barney, full pardon of possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon, and having previously distributed a small amount of marijuana
  • Joshua J. Smith, full pardon of conspiracy to possess drugs with intent to distribute
  • Amy Povah, full pardon of a drug offense
  • Dr. Frederick Nahas, full pardon of obstructing justice in a health care investigation
  • David Tamman, full pardon of doctoring financial documents that were the subject of a Federal investigation
  • Dr. Faustino Bernadett, full pardon of failure to report a hospital kickback scheme of which he became aware
  • Paul Erickson, full pardon of attempting to develop a backchannel between the NRA and Russian government
  • Todd Farha, Thaddeus Bereday, William Kale, Paul Behrens, Peter Clay, full pardons false statements to the Florida Medicaid Program
  • David Rowland, full pardon of removing asbestos in elementary school without proper licensing
  • Randall “Duke” Cunningham, conditional pardon of accepting bribes while he held public office
  • Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. (Lil Wayne), full pardon of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon
  • Stephen Odzer, conditional pardon of conspiracy and bank fraud
  • Steven Benjamin Floyd, full pardon of one count of bank robbery by extortion
  • Joey Hancock, full pardon of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance
  • David E. Miller, full pardon of making a false statement to a bank
  • James Austin Hayes, full pardon of conspiracy to commit insider trading
  • Drew Brownstein, full pardon of insider trading
  • Robert Bowker, full pardon of illegally wildlife trafficking 22 snakes owned by Rudy “Cobra King” Komarek to be transported to the Miami Serpentarium
  • Amir Khan, full pardon of wire fraud
  • Patrick Lee Swisher, full pardon of tax fraud and making false statements
  • Robert Sherrill, full pardon of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine
  • Dr. Robert S. Corkern, full pardon of Federal program bribery
  • David Lamar Clanton, full pardon of making false statements and related charges
  • George Gilmore, full pardon of failure to pay payroll taxes and making false statements
  • Desiree Perez, full pardon of a conspiracy to distribute narcotics
  • Robert “Bob” Zangrillo, full pardon of involvement in the “Varsity Blues” investigation, a high-profile college admissions fraud scandal
  • Hillel Nahmad, full pardon of a sports gambling offense
  • Brian McSwain, full pardon of a drug crime
  • John Duncan Fordham, full pardon of health care fraud
  • William “Ed” Henry, full pardon of aiding and abetting the theft of government property

Full list of Trump commuted sentences Jan. 20:

  • Jaime A. Davidson, commuted sentence of life imprisonment in relation to the murder of an undercover officer
  • Bill K. Kapri (Kodak Black), commuted sentence for making a false statement on a Federal document
  • Jawad A. Musa, commuted sentence of life imprisonment for a non-violent, drug-related offense
  • Adriana Shayota, commuted sentence for conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, commit copyright infringement, and introduce misbranded food into interstate commerce
  • Ferrell Damon Scott, commuted sentence for life imprisonment sentence for possession with intent to distribute marijuana
  • Jerry Donnell Walden, commuted sentence for intent to distribute cocaine
  • Michael Ashley, commuted sentence of bank fraud
  • Lou Hobbs, commuted sentence
  • Matthew Antoine Canady, commuted sentence for drug-related convictions
  • Mario Claiborne, commuted sentence for leading drug related business conspiracy in Chicago
  • Rodney Nakia Gibson, commuted sentence for trafficking drugs
  • Tom Leroy Whitehurst, commuted sentence for conspiracy to manufacture at least 16.7 kilograms of methamphetamine and possession of numerous firearms
  • Monstsho Eugene Vernon, commuted sentence for committing a string of armed bank robberies
  • Luis Fernando Sicard, commuted sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
  • DeWayne Phelps, commuted sentence for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine
  • Isaac Nelson, commuted sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and 50 grams or more of crack cocaine
  • Traie Tavares Kelly, commuted sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base and 5 kilograms or more of cocaine
  • Javier Gonzales, commuted sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine
  • John Knock, commuted sentence for a first-time, non-violent marijuana only offender
  • Kenneth Charles Fragoso, commuted sentence for a nonviolent drug offense
  • Luis Gonzalez, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • Anthony DeJohn, commuted sentence for conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • Corvain Cooper, commuted sentence for non-violent participation in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • Way Quoe Long, commuted sentence for non-violent conviction for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana
  • Michael Pelletier, commuted sentence for conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • Craig Cesal, commuted sentence for conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • Darrell Frazier, commuted sentence for intent to distribute cocaine
  • Lavonne Roach, commuted sentence for non-violent drug charges
  • Blanca Virgen, commuted sentence for intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • Robert Francis, commuted sentence for non-violent drug conspiracy charges
  • Brian Simmons, commuted sentence for non-violent conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana
  • Derrick Smith, commuted sentence for distribution of drugs to a companion who passed away
  • Raymond Hersman, commuted sentence for distribution of methamphetamine
  • David Barren, commuted sentence for non-violent drug conspiracy charge
  • James Romans, commuted sentence for involvement in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
  • Jonathon Braun, commuted sentence for conspiracy to import marijuana and to commit money laundering
  • Michael Harris, commuted sentence for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder
  • Kyle Kimoto, commuted sentence for non-violent telemarketing fraud scheme
  • Chalana McFarland, commuted sentence of money laundering, bank and wire fraud and other financial crimes
  • Eliyahu Weinstein, commuted sentence of real estate investment fraud
  • John Estin Davis, commuted sentence for serving as Chief Executive Office of a healthcare company with a financial conflict of interest
  • Noah Kleinman, commuted sentence for a non-violent crime to distribute marijuana
  • Tena Logan, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • MaryAnne Locke, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • April Coots, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • Caroline Yeats, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • Jodi Lynn Richter, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • Kristina Bohnenkamp, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • Mary Roberts, commuted sentence for non-violent drug offense
  • Cassandra Ann Kasowski, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • Lerna Lea Paulson, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • Ann Butler, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • Sydney Navarro, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • Tara Perry, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • Jon Harder, commuted sentence for misusing investment funds during the real estate crisis
  • Chris Young, commuted sentence for role in a drug conspiracy
  • Adrianne Miller, commuted sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a list I chemical.
  • Kwame Kilpatrick, commuted sentence for racketeering and bribery scheme while he held public office
  • Fred “Dave” Clark, commuted sentence for a non-violent drug offense
  • William Walters, commuted sentence for insider trading
  • James Brian Cruz, commuted sentence for a drug crime
  • Shalom Weiss, commuted sentence for racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice
  • Salomon Melgen, commuted sentence for healthcare fraud and false statements

Incoming Secretary of State Backs Pompeo’s Uyghur Genocide Designation

Incoming Secretary of State Backs Pompeo’s Uyghur Genocide Designation

National ReviewBrittany Bernstein


President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the State Department called China’s actions against Uyghur Muslims a genocide and said President Trump was “right in taking a tougher approach to China.”

In a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Secretary of State-designate Antony Blinken endorsed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement made earlier in the day that the U.S. will classify China’s treatment of Uyghurs as a “genocide.”

“That would be my judgment as well,” Blinken told the panel.

“On the Uyghurs, I think we’re very much in agreement,” he said.

China has imprisoned over one million Uyghurs in internment camps and has implemented a program of forced sterilizations for Uyghur women.

Blinkin, who worked at the State Department under then-Secretary of State John Kerry, praised President Trump for “taking a tougher approach to China” though he said he did not support the “way he went about it.”

“President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China,” Blinken said. “I disagree very much with the way he went about it in a number of areas, but the basic principle was the right one.”

The United States’ relationship with China has grown increasingly tense recently, as Trump blamed the Chinese government for the COVID-19 pandemic and grew frustrated with Beijing not holding up a partial trade deal it had previously agreed to.

Pompeo on Tuesday afternoon said that public opinion will require Biden to carry on the United States’ tougher stance on China.

“This challenge, the threat from the Chinese Communist Party, is real; it is existential to the United States,” he told Fox News. “I have great confidence that the American people have come to understand this challenge from the Chinese Communist Party and will expect every leader, whatever political stripe, to continue to protect and secure American freedoms.”

More from National Review

China’s Oppression of Muslims in Xinjiang, Explained

China’s Oppression of Muslims in Xinjiang, Explained

In one of its last acts, the Trump administration said China was committing genocide against Uighurs and other mostly Muslim groups. Here is what the move could mean.

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, on a screen in Kashgar, in the Xinjiang region, in 2018.
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, on a screen in Kashgar, in the Xinjiang region, in 2018.Credit…Ng Han Guan/Associated Press

Austin Ramzy

By Austin Ramzy

On the final full day of the Trump presidency, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that China was carrying out a genocide against Uighurs and other Muslim peoples, the toughest condemnation yet of Beijing’s crackdown against its far western region of Xinjiang.

The announcement was welcomed by exiled Uighurs as a long desired recognition of the extent of oppression in Xinjiang. It was also criticized as a move that was delayed for too long and tainted by the Trump administration’s loss of credibility and efforts to overturn the presidential election results.

The incoming Biden administration has indicated its general agreement with the designation. A spokesman for Joseph R. Biden Jr. said during the presidential campaign last year that Beijing’s policies in the region amounted to genocide.

Here’s a look at the Xinjiang region, China’s crackdown there and what the genocide declaration could mean for the global response.

ImageChinese soldiers training in Kashgar this month. 
Chinese soldiers training in Kashgar this month. Credit…Doctor Song/Chinatopix, via Associated Press

Xinjiang, in the far northwestern region of China, has large numbers of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other mostly Muslim groups. It is culturally, linguistically and religiously more similar to Central Asia than the Chinese interior.

The geography is dominated by the vast Taklamakan Desert in the center of the region, multiple mountain ranges and traditional oasis cities in the south. The area is rich in natural resources and has some of China’s largest oil deposits.

The Communist Party has ruled the region with a heavy hand since it took over control in 1949. To many Uighurs, Xinjiang is known as East Turkestan, a name shared by two short-lived independent republics that existed before the Communist takeover.

What is happening there?   

ImageA Uighur muezzin calling the evening prayer from the rooftop of a mosque in Kashgar in 2015.
A Uighur muezzin calling the evening prayer from the rooftop of a mosque in Kashgar in 2015.Credit…Adam Dean for The New York Times

Uighurs have long bridled at Chinese control of the region, which has seen an influx of ethnic Chinese migrants and an increase in restrictions on local language, culture and religion. Minority groups in Xinjiang say they aren’t given jobs or contracts because of widespread racial discrimination.

 DEBATABLE: The sharpest arguments on the most pressing issues of the week.

The resentment has sometimes boiled over into violence, including attacks on police officers and civilians. In 2009, nearly 200 people, mostly Han Chinese, were killed in riots in Urumqi, the regional capital.

In 2016, a new Communist Party boss, Chen Quanguo, transferred to Xinjiang from Tibet. He began carrying out an intensified campaign of repression, putting large numbers of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other minority groups in re-education camps.

Under Mr. Chen, the use of surveillance, in the form of both high-tech facial recognition monitoring and traditional measures like police checkpoints, surged in the region. China has also attempted to control the growth of the Uighur population, and researchers say it has used repressive methods such as forced sterilizations.

Large numbers of children in Xinjiang have been placed in boarding schools designed to assimilate and indoctrinate them, according to the government’s published plans. And the authorities have carried out the widespread destruction of mosques and shrines while turning others into tourist sites.

ImageA high-security facility on the outskirts of the city of Hotan in 2019.
A high-security facility on the outskirts of the city of Hotan in 2019.Credit…Greg Baker/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Officials have held one million or more people in internment camps in Xinjiang, the country’s most sweeping mass detention program since the Mao era. A wide range of behavior can lead to detention, including acts of religious devotion, travel to certain countries, violations of birth restrictions or installing cellphone apps that allow encrypted messaging.

The authorities at first denied the mass detentions. Then they acknowledged what they called a vocational training program meant to curb terrorism, separatism and religious extremism by giving people job skills and Chinese language training. Those who have been held in camps describe a rigorous prison environment filled with monotonous political indoctrination and, for many, terrorizing bouts of violence and physical abuse by guards.

In 2019, the Chinese authorities said they had wound down the program and released most of those who were held, an assertion that was met with wide skepticism by researchers and activist groups. While there were signs that some camps had been closed and some of those held released, China has also continued to expand detention facilities in the region, particularly high-security prisons.

The region also experienced a record surge in arrests, trials and prison sentences, according to official data released in 2019. In addition, the authorities have pushed work programs in Xinjiang, including the transfer of workers within the region and to other parts of China, that critics say most likely involve coercion and forced labor.

In his statement, Mr. Pompeo said the Chinese authorities in Xinjiang had committed crimes against humanity that include arbitrary imprisonment, forced sterilization, torture, forced labor and “draconian restrictions” on freedom of religion, expression and movement.

He added that the United States believes the Chinese authorities have committed genocide because they had “engaged in the forced assimilation and eventual erasure of a vulnerable ethnic and religious minority group.”

The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which has been ratified by at least 149 countries including China, defines genocide as any of these acts committed with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group: Killing its members; causing them serious bodily or mental harm; deliberately inflicting conditions calculated to cause the group’s physical destruction; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

ImageA member of the Uyghur American Association rallying in front of the White House last year.
A member of the Uyghur American Association rallying in front of the White House last year.Credit…Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

The global response to the repression in Xinjiang has been relatively muted, an indication of China’s global clout. Over the past year, the United States has imposed sanctions on Chinese officials, companies and government bodies operating in Xinjiang.

The genocide declaration is the sharpest response thus far. Last year, a Canadian parliamentary subcommittee reached the same conclusion. The declaration by Mr. Pompeo could lead to further penalties by the United States, but those decisions will now be in the hands of the Biden administration.

One test will be whether the Biden administration will try to persuade American allies to support efforts to confront Beijing over its oppression in Xinjiang in a way the Trump administration did not. During his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Antony J. Blinken, Mr. Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, indicated that the United States would try to lobby support from other nations.

“When we are working with, not denigrating, our allies, that’s a source of strength for us in dealing with China,” he said.