Trump Encouraged China’s Xi Jinping to Build Concentration Camps For Uighur Muslims: Bolton
President Donald Trump encouraged Chinese President Xi Jinping to construct additional camps for Uighur Muslims, according to new excerpts from John Bolton‘s upcoming memoir, The Room Where It Happened.
“At the opening dinner of the Osaka G-20 meeting in June 2019, with only interpreters present, Xi had explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang. According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do. The National Security Council’s top Asia staffer, Matthew Pottinger, told me that Trump said something very similar during his November 2017 trip to China,” Bolton wrote in an excerpt published by The Wall Street Journal.
Bolton added, “Beijing’s repression of its Uighur citizens also proceeded apace. Trump asked me at the 2018 White House Christmas dinner why we were considering sanctioning China over its treatment of the Uighurs, a largely Muslim people who live primarily in China’s northwest Xinjiang Province.”
Trump this month is expected to sign legislation pressuring China to stop oppressing its Uighur population. That action comes after criticism Trump received for failing to act more quickly. Bolton suggested Trump’s position shifted due to political considerations.
“In today’s pre-2020 election climate, Trump has made a sharp turn to anti-China rhetoric,” Bolton wrote. “Frustrated in his search for the big China trade deal, and mortally afraid of the negative political effects of the coronavirus pandemic on his reelection prospects, Trump has now decided to blame China, with ample justification. Whether his actions will match his words remains to be seen.”
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