FIRST ON FOX: Florida Republican Rep. Michael Waltz torched the Biden administration as having the “weakest record” on human rights among modern presidencies as anti-government protests in China rage.
Waltz took aim at President Biden’s administration in a Monday interview with Fox News Digital when asked about the president’s level of support for Chinese citizens protesting against the communist nation’s draconian COVID-19 protocols.
“You know, it has been a trend with this administration. Typically, check the box and show tepid, weak, ineffectual support,” Waltz said.
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“I mean, they may issue a statement from the podium or a separate, vaguely worded press statement,” the Florida Republican continued. “But no, it’s not nearly strong enough for those fighting for their freedoms in China, nor is it strong enough for [those] in Cuba.”
“Hasn’t been strong enough in Iran,” he said. “I mean, I could go around the world.
Waltz added that he believes the Biden administration “has the weakest record on human rights of any modern president.”
The Florida Republican’s comments come as citizens across China took to the streets to protest the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal COVID-19 protocols.
Protests had spread to some 20 provinces throughout China. The demonstrations over the country’s “zero-COVID” policy and a deadly fire in a high-rise building in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, that cost 10 people their lives seemed to have been the catalyst for many people in the communist nation to say enough is enough. The building had been in partial lockdown for nearly two months.
Over the weekend, things turned violent in several cities, with protesters clashing with police. Videos posted online showed police attacking and carrying away some protesters. People have increasingly voiced their anger online.
On Saturday and into Sunday, people gathered in the city center of Shanghai to light candles for the victims of the deadly fire. Around midnight, the crowd had swelled to over a thousand people, chanting, “apologize,” directed at the central government, as well as “Xi Jinping, step down” and “Communist Party, step down.”
Such slogans aimed directly at Xi and his central leadership committee are unprecedented. Even during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, protesters demanded democratic reform, not regime change.
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After an hours-long standoff between the police and the protesters, police forces started clearing the streets around 2 am in Shanghai. Although it began peacefully, an eyewitness told Fox News Digital that after a while, the police started pulling people out of the crowd, dragging them into police vehicles and taking them away. On Sunday, requests for volunteer lawyers appeared on social media to help those arrested the night before.
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Fox News Staff contributed reporting.