President Donald Trump signed a bill to protect the human rights of Uighur muslims living in China on Wednesday, the same day former Ambassador John Bolton accused him of having given approval to Chinese President Xi Jinping to start filling detention camps.
The bill Trump signed Wednesday calls for his administration to create a report on Chinese officials who are responsible for the detention camps and introduce sanctions against them. The sanctions could include freezing of assets, VISA denials, and barring entry into the U.S.
Bolton’s accusations come from advance review copies of his upcoming book, excerpts of which have been published in the Wall Street Journal. Bolton claims Trump told Xi that building the concentration camps was the “right thing to do,” during a dinner with Chinese diplomats at the G20 in 2019.
The bill signed Wednesday also seeks to hold China accountable for “indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity” in Xinjiang.(REPORT: Trump Petitioned China’s Xi For Election Help, Bolton’s Book Claims)
“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,” Bolton wrote. “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.”
The human rights abuses at the camps have been documented, however, with the Associated Press uncovering a database showing China has been imprisoning Muslims for attending services at a mosque or praying. (RELATED: Top WHO Official Won Election With China’s Help)
Trump has not directly responded to Bolton’s accusations, but the White House released a statement saying Bolton is “threatening to undermine America’s national security for personal profit.”
The administration has also taken action to prevent Bolton from publishing certain sections of his book, which the White House says contains classified information.