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11/17/2023 Washington (International Christian Concern) – China’s President Xi Jinping recently visited the United States to meet with President Biden, a visit on American soil for the first time in six years. Their conversation included topics like the fentanyl crisis, artificial intelligence, and even the return of pandas to the United States.  

Yet one issue was neglected in their conversation – China’s questionable human rights and religious persecution record. 

Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seized power in the 1940s, religious freedom conditions have deteriorated. China has kept its efforts to silence and, in some cases, eradicate ethnic and religious communities, such as the Uyghurs, Tibetan Buddhists, and Christians. Disappearances, forced organ harvesting, controlled press, and surveillance of its citizens are just the beginning in terms of China’s human rights abuses. And these issues were largely ignored during Jinping’s visit. 

Shortly after the heads of state met, dozens of American CEOs socialized over dinner with Chinese government officials. High-profile CEOs such as Elon Musk (Tesla and X), Stanley Deal (Boeing), Stephen Schwarzman (Blackstone), and Marc Benioff (Salesforce) were seen in attendance, paying up to $40,000 to dine with Xi Jinping. 

Many have criticized this large gathering, including U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI), who said, “It is unconscionable that American companies might pay thousands of dollars to join a ‘welcome dinner’ hosted by the very same CCP officials who have facilitated a genocide against millions of innocent men, women, and children in Xinjiang.” 

The attendance of Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, should also be of notable concern. 

Apple regularly prides itself as a supporter of the social justice movement and even holds its own human rights policy. But just two years ago, Apple removed a Bible app from the Chinese version of the app store at the request of government officials. When asked to justify its actions, Apple cited its human rights policy, saying, “… at times, there are complex issues about which we may disagree with governments and other stakeholders on the right path forward.” 

However, for a country that brought in $74 billion in revenue in 2022 for Apple, it is possible that Apple and many of the CEOs in attendance have traded their “commitments” to universal human rights in exchange for cash, filling their pockets while letting China’s religious minorities continue to suffer.