Bolton exposes Trump’s blind spot to China’s ethnic cleansing

Within hours of leaked transcripts of Bolton's new book, the president signed legislation punishing China for human rights violations.

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Editorials

June 23, 2020 - 9:44 AM

President Donald Trump, left, and John Bolton, former national security adviser. Photo by Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS

Starting in 2017, a picture slowly began to emerge from China’s far northwest: compounds surrounded by watchtowers, no trees, high fences, and reports of people being taken away without due process or explanation. Eyewitnesses and family members described how China was building a string of concentration camps for its Uighur minority and others, incarcerating more than 1 million Turkic Muslims in an attempt to eradicate their culture, language and identity, one of the most appalling human rights abuses in the world today.

China’s leaders first denied the camps existed, then later claimed they were schools for vocational education. But the evidence piled up that they were camps intended to wipe out the Uighur Muslim identity through mind-numbing lessons in Mandarin and demands that the prisoners renounce their religion, conform to the ways of the majority Han Chinese and respect the ruling Communist Party.

Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do.

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