Milwaukee, United States: 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 about the handling of Muslim minorities by the Asian nation in its far western Xinjiang region.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has drawn global criticism for keeping the Uighur minority in internment camps and other violations of human rights.
"Well, there will be repercussions for China and he knows that," Biden said of Xi, pushing on the topic at the City Hall event televised on CNN.
In standing up for human rights, the United States would reaffirm its global position, Biden said, adding that it will collaborate 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.
Biden stressed the US priority of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific zone, where the United States and China are major strategic rivals, in a two-hour phone call with Xi this month.