During the All-In podcast this weekend, billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya gave his thoughts on the ongoing persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China, saying that the genocide of a religious minority by an authoritarian government is not high on his list of things to be concerned about.
While the panel discussed things President Joe Biden could do to jumpstart his seemingly stalled agenda, All-In co-host Jason Calacanis posited that him being more aggressive on "China policy" could be one approach. But Palihapitiya disagreed.
“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay?" said Palihapitiya, the CEO of Social Capital and minority owner of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.
"You bring it up because you care and I think it’s nice that you care. The rest of us don’t care. I’m just telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line."
"That's disappointing," a stunned Calacanis said.
Palihapitiya said that he cares about things like the economy suffering "if China invades Taiwan," and climate change, and America's "decrepit" health care infrastructure, "but you're asking me if I care about a segment of a class of people in another country -- not until we can take care of ourselves will I prioritize them over us."
"I think it's a sad state of affairs when human rights as a concept globally falls beneath, you know, tactical and strategic issues that we have to have," Calacanis replied.
"That's another luxury belief," Palihapitiya shot back.
"I don't believe [that] believing in the [Universal] Declaration of Human Rights is a luxury belief," Calacanis said.
The co-hosts of the podcast continued to argue about the topic for more than half an hour.
The US House of Representatives last year passed legislation banning imports from China's Xinjiang region over its treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority.
Members of the House voted 428-1 to pass the "Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act," which requires corporations to prove "with clear and convincing evidence" that any goods imported from the region were not made using forced labor.
"Right now, Beijing is orchestrating a brutal and accelerating campaign of repression against the Uyghur people and other Muslim minorities," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told lawmakers ahead of the vote.
"In Xinjiang, across China, millions are enduring outrageous human rights abuses: from mass surveillance and disciplinary policing; to mass torture including solitary confinement and forced sterilizations; intimidation of journalists and activists who have dared to expose the truth."
She added: "And, the government of China's exploitation of forced labor reaches across the oceans to our shores and across the world."
China has denied the accusations concerning its treatment of the Uyghurs.
Watch the exchange below:
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With additional reporting via AFP