Becerra downplayed China’s abuses as a ‘different perspective’ on human rights

President Biden’s pick to lead his Health and Human Services Department once downplayed China’s human rights abuses amid a push to expand trade with the communist country.

As a California congressman in 1997, Xavier Becerra helped lead a delegation of more than 20 House members on an economic mission to China. The trip came on the heels of a 1996 tour of Cuba where Becerra met with strongman Fidel Castro, a decision that provoked controversy among Cuban-American lawmakers.

Becerra, California attorney general since 2017, faces considerable Republican opposition in his bid to be confirmed as HHS secretary.

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