Leaked excerpts from the upcoming memoir The Room Where It Happened has made stunning allegations against U.S. President Donald Trump. Former U.S. National Security Advisor, John Bolton, claims in his book that Trump attempted to interfere in a criminal investigation into Turkey’s Halkbank for the largest sanctions violation scheme in U.S. history as a favor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; accuses Trump of withholding military aid to the Ukraine; and, that Trump fully approved of the alleged “concentration camps” for the Uighur minority in China’s Xinjiang province. Whether these claims are true or not, this memoir is set to cause massive disruptions and uproar in the White House.
Bolton claims that in a one-on-one meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 2019 Group of 20 summit in Japan, the American President gave full support to these alleged concentration camps that Xi described as “Vocational Education and Training Centers” to combat Islamic extremism. The Uighurs as a minority of only 25 million people in a country of 1.4 billion are overwhelmingly Muslim. A minority are extremists and were responsible for the 1992 Ürümqi bombings, the 1997 Ürümqi bus bombings, the 2010 Aksu bombing, the 2011 Hotan attack, 2011 Kashgar attacks, the 2014 Ürümqi attack and the 2014 Kunming attack, among many.
In addition, there are about 10,000 Uighur terrorists and their families that belong to the Al-Qaeda affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party who have colonized areas of Syria’s Idlib province. These terrorists have been responsible for executions, the demolition of Christian churches and train child soldiers. China fears that if there are 10,000 Uighur’s with this ideology 4,500km away in Syria, the actual number adhering to an extremist interpretation of Islam in Xinjiang would be in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.
“According to our interpreter,” Bolton writes of the meeting, “Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do.”
However, within only hours of Bolton’s allegations against Trump, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, reported that Trump had signed a bill calling for sanctions against China’s so-called treatment of the Uighurs. Trump said in a statement that the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 legislation “holds accountable perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses such as the 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.” According to Al-Jazeera, Trump did not hold a ceremony to mark the signing of the bill.
However, this calls into question just how likely Trump is going to enforce the provisions of the bill in light of Bolton’s allegations, especially as the American president has avoided making these accusations against China, unlike Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. On the other hand, it is also unlikely that the bill was drafted and signed in only a matter of hours after Bolton’s allegations, and not only because of practicality reasons. Bolton’s allegations against Trump also relate to his dealings with Turkey, North Korea, Ukraine, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, and in comparison to allegations about Trump backing Erdoğan in circumventing sanctions, his alleged comments about supporting concentration camps in Xinjiang is minor and not a matter of immediate concern. It is more likely that the revelations by Bolton were coincidentally released just hours before Trump’s signing of the bill.
Whatever the case may be, China did not hold back its denunciations of the latest diplomatic aggression made by the U.S.
“We again urge the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistakes and stop using this Xinjiang-related law to harm China’s interests and interfere in China’s internal affairs,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday. “Otherwise, China will resolutely take countermeasures, and all the consequences arising from there must be fully borne by the United States.”
The signing of the bill came more of a shock to China as it was signed when Pompeo was meeting with China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, in Hawaii.
Yang told Pompeo “both sides stand to gain from cooperation and will lose from confrontation” but that Washington needed to respect Beijing’s positions on Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. “Cooperation is the only correct choice for both sides. It is hoped that the U.S. and China will go hand-in-hand.”
Beijing would have been infuriated that a bill like this was signed so soon after Yang met with Pompeo, especially as there could be truth to Bolton’s allegations that Trump supports China’s so-called concentration camps.
It calls to question why the Justice Department has filed a lawsuit to delay Tuesday’s scheduled release of the book, along with an emergency application to temporarily stop publication. This comes as Trump said Bolton could face criminal charges for publishing classified information, but also tweeted the book was “made up of lies & fake stories” and Bolton was a “disgruntled boring fool.” If the allegations made in the book are not true, why is there such a heavy-handed response from the Justice Department and even threats of criminal charges made by Trump?
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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.
Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.
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