Former Advisor Claims Trump Approved of China’s Uighur Detention Camps Despite Calling for Sanctions18 Jun 2020
On Wednesday, the US President, Donald Trump, signed new legislation calling for sanctions against the Chinese government. According to the White House, the sanctions are aimed at those responsible for the repression of the country’s Uighur Muslim population.
However, Trump’s former aide, John Bolton, claimed that Trump spoke approvingly about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plans to build “concentration camps” to “re-educate” Uighur Muslims.
The Bill “gave hope to the desperate Uighur people”
The US President signed the legislation calling for sanctions against those responsible for the repression of Uighur Muslims on Wednesday. According to the White House, the Bill, which passed the US Congress with only a single “no” vote, was intended to send China a strong message on human rights.
The signing of the law came after years of reports by activist groups and the United Nations, alleging that more than one million Uighur Muslims have been detained in camps in China’s Xinjang region in its far-west. The law for the first time calls for sanctions on a member of China’s Politburo, Xinjiang’s Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who is viewed as the architect of Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang.
China has regularly rejected these allegations, claiming that the camps are vocational training centres necessary to counter extremism. Commenting on the signing of the Bill, the Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed that the US intervention was a “malicious attack” and urged Washington to reconsider its actions.
“Otherwise China will resolutely take countermeasures, and all the consequences arising therefrom must be fully borne by the United States.”
In a statement, the World Uyghur Congress thanked Trump for signing the law. The group said that the signing of the law “gave hope to the desperate Uighur people.”
“Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps”
The accolades Trump receives, however, are likely to be short-lived amidst revelations by his former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, who claimed in his new memoirs that Trump spoke appreciatively of Beijing’s plans. In The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, Bolton claimed Trump said Xi should go ahead with building the camps during a G20 meeting between the two leaders in 2019. Citing interpreters, Bolton claimed that Trump felt the move was “exactly the right thing to do,” and added that he had expressed similar comments back in 2017.
In the book, which the White House tried to prevent from getting published, Trump was also accused of trying to appeal to Beijing to help his re-election, which Bolton claimed was Trump’s main and most pressing concern.