Donald Trump on Wednesday enacted a law passed by Congress to sanction Chinese officials accused of “mass internments” of Uighur Muslims.
“This law holds perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses accountable for systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uighurs and other minorities in China,” he said, according to a statement distributed by the White House.
This bill had been passed on May 27 by an overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives and almost unanimously in the Senate a few days earlier.
The law risks further poisoning already very tense relations between the two major world powers when the head of U.S. diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, meets in Hawaii with a senior leader of the Chinese Communist Party, precisely to seek to reduce bilateral tension.
In December, at the time of the first vote on this law, Beijing had promised that Washington would “pay the price.”
The bill resumes accusations already made by the Trump administration and other Western countries, as well as by several international human rights organizations.
These include the Chinese government perpetrating “serious human rights violations” in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, establishing “the mass surveillance and internment of more than one million Uighurs and members of the Kazakh or Kyrgyz minorities or other Muslim minorities.”
Coincidence of the calendar, Trump signed this law on the day that the media revealed several parts of the explosive book written by his former National Security Adviser, John Bolton.
According to the parts of the text released, Trump has not always been critical of the Chinese regime.
“During the Group of 20 opening dinner in Osaka in June 2019, only in the presence of interpreters, Xi explained to Trump why he was building concentration camps in Xinjiang,” Bolton wrote in the book, which will be released on Tuesday. “According to our interpreter, Trump said That Xi should continue to build these camps because Trump thought it was exactly the good thing to do,” he added
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