Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., weighed the Golden State Warriors co-ownership controversy Chamath Palihapitiya, who has received backlash for saying “no one cares” about the ongoing Uyghur genocide in Xinjiang, China.
“No one cares what happens to the Uyghurs, okay? You bring it up because it’s really important to you and I think it’s nice that you care, the rest of us don’t care,” Palihapitiya said “All in Podcast” this week in response to co-host Jason Calacanis.
ESPN WILL AVOID ON-AIR BROADCAST OF UIGUR COMMENTS BY THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS OWNER, OTHER NETWORKS WILL ALSO IGNORE
“I’m just telling you a very hard, ugly truth, okay? Of all the things that are important to me, yes it’s under my line,” added the NBA co-owner and Biden mega-donor.
According to FEC data, Silicon Valley billionaire Palihapitiya donated $250,000 to the Biden Victory Fund in support of Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign in July this year and donated an additional $5,600 directly to his campaign. However, the White House has remained silent this week in response to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on Palihapitiya’s donations given its recent anti-Uyghur comments.
Bera, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia and Non-Proliferation, said he disagreed with Palihapitiya’s remarks during a virtual event with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on Friday.
“I saw those comments and found them naive and unhappy,” Bera said when asked about the incident. “We in Congress, Democrats and Republicans, are certainly paying attention to what is happening in Xinjiang.”
He mentioned that Congress recently passed a Uyghur law, which President Biden has now signed into law, which he says is “not easy” as US companies doing business in China have “legitimate” concerns.
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“They also want to be aware of the human rights issues that are happening in Xinjiang,” Bera said.
In response to a question about how US business should deal with the Uyghur genocide surrounding the decision to continue doing business with China or not, Bera explained that there was always the possibility of “economic retaliation” from China give.
Bera described the fine line between “how we stand up for our values and human rights and don’t turn a blind eye to what’s happening in Xinjiang, but at the same time understand that we don’t want to disadvantage our companies and others.”
He mentioned the setback Tesla has suffered in recent days due to the establishment of a showroom in Xinjiang, China. The company announced on New Year’s Eve that it would open a showroom in Xinjiang despite widespread human rights abuses in the region.
The congressman concluded by saying that the problem will not go away and that China would not take a “diplomatic ramp” if the US offered the country one.
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The US has cracked down on the Uyghur genocide, including Biden’s signing of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act last month and the enactment of a series of sanctions and other measures against the Chinese government.
The US is also planning a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Olympics over the issue.
FOX Business’ Houston Keene contributed to this report.