Trump told China's president that building concentration camps for millions of Uighur Muslims was 'exactly the right thing to do,' former adviser says

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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President Donald Trump expressed approval for a Uyghur Muslim concentration camp in China during a private meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to John Bolton's upcoming memoir, "The Room Where It Happened."
Xi "explained to Trump why he was actually building concentration camps in Xinjiang," Bolton wrote, citing the interpreter's report.
The interpreter added that "Trump said that Xi should continue building the camps, which Trump thought was just right," the book said.
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President Donald Trump expressed approval for a Uyghur Muslim concentration camp in China during a private meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to John Bolton's upcoming memoir, "The Room Where It Happened."
At a private meeting during the 2019 G20 meeting in Japan, Trump and Xi were only accompanied by their interpreters, according to Bolton's book, the parts of which were published in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
Xi "explained to Trump why he was actually building concentration camps in Xinjiang," Bolton wrote, citing the interpreter's report. The interpreter added that "Trump said that Xi should continue building the camps, which Trump thought was just right," the book said.
Bolton also wrote in the book that Matthew Pottinger, a retired U.S. Navy and current deputy national security advisor, "told me that Trump said something very similar during his November 2017 trip to China."
The Chinese Communist Party has long been criticized for building large concentration camps in Xinjiang, where millions of Uyghur Muslim minority Muslims are held under the guise of a counter-terrorism campaign. In the approximately 465 camps in Xinjiang and the surrounding area, 2 to 3 million Uyghur Muslims are monitored and subjected to compulsory "re-education". A survivor said that people in the camps were beaten, subjected to medical experiments, and even forced to watch gang rapes.
The camps have been criticized by the White House and legislators of both parties have condemned the practice. Trump returned his reluctance to take action against China for treating Uyghur Muslims and signed a non-partisan law on Wednesday.
The Uighur human rights law has been overwhelmingly approved by both chambers and calls for sanctions against officials involved in the camps.
"Beijing's barbaric actions against the Uyghur people are an outrage for collective global consciousness," said House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi in May. "This House of Representatives sends a very strong, cross-party message to the persecuted that they will not be forgotten. We tell the President of China: You can tell these people that they are forgotten, but they are not."
China has continued to deny that the Uyghur Muslims have been ill-treated, claiming that the term "China's counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts are clearly smeared and seriously intervening in China's domestic affairs."
"We urge the United States to correct its mistake immediately, to stop using Xinjiang-related issues to intervene in China's domestic affairs and to refrain from going the wrong way," the Chinese embassy said in Washington , DC, in a statement The New York Times.
Bolton's book sent shock waves through Washington and the political sphere. The former national security adviser accused the House of Representatives in his memoir of "impeachment" and says Trump has acted far more improperly than what he was charged with.
In one section of the book, Bolton described how Trump Xi "asked" that China buy US agricultural products to help him reelect in 2020.
"He emphasized the importance of farmers and increased Chinese soybean and wheat purchases for the election result," Bolton wrote.
In an excerpt published by the Wall Street Journal, Bolton added that "Trump's talks with Xi not only reflected inconsistency in his trade policies, but also the confluence of Trump's own political interests and the United States' national interests."
"Trump has blended the personal and the national not only in trade matters, but in the entire field of national security," said the former national security adviser. "It is difficult for me to identify a major Trump decision during my term in the White House that was not determined by re-election calculations."
Bolton said the president's actions in connection with his China policy "formed a pattern of fundamentally unacceptable behavior that undermined the presidency's legitimacy."
"If the advocates of the impeachment in 2019 had not been so obsessed with their blitzkrieg in Ukraine, they would have taken the time to ask more systematically about Trump's behavior in all of his foreign policy, the impeachment outcome might have been different," the former wrote national security adviser.
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