Just moments after excerpts of John Bolton's book were leaked to several media outlets such as the WaPo and the NYT, in which the apparent punchline was Bolton's allegation that Trump was cozying to China, the president - perhaps in direct response to the book leak - signed a measure punishing Chinese officials for imprisoning more than one million Muslims in internment camps.
What makes the timing of Trump's Bill delightfully amusing, is that just an hour earlier we reported that According to Bolton, Xi "explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang. ... Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do."
Yes, according to Bolton Trump told Xi to "go ahead" and build concentration camps in China, and he did so in public.
I don’t really think XI goes around asking other presidents IF HE CAN BUILD CONCENTRATION CAMPS @AmbJohnBolton - you are a pathetic freaking user— mcm-ct.com (@mcm_ct) June 17, 2020
Of course, there is more in Bolton's attempt to get rich quick, but when presented the opportunity to make these comments under oath, Bolton politely refused, saving his salacious details for his "tell all" memoir.
Just remember that Bolton declined to make any of these allegations under oath before Congress. https://t.co/yuUSAyk3NX— neontaster (@neontaster) June 17, 2020
Bolton's self-serving book aside, the now enacted legislation - which as Bloomberg reminds us had won broad bipartisan support in Congress last month - requires Trump to sanction any officials found responsible for oppression of Uighurs and members of other Muslim minority groups and revoke their visas. Signing the bill, which has prompted threats of retaliation from Beijing, marks a shift for Trump, who has been reluctant in the past to act against China over human rights.
The top House Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, said the legislation “sends a clear message to the government of China that we are well aware” of abuse Uighurs have suffered. The human rights measure passed the House last month on a vote of 413-1 and passed the Senate by unanimous consent. It condemns the internment of Uighurs and members of other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang region of China. The legislation calls for closing the camps where they are being held.
And while China has warned previously that should the bill be signed by Trump, there will be an appropriate retaliation, if Bolton is right and this is nothing just theater, expect absolutely no actual response from Beijing to this law besides the usual twitter jawboning from Hu Xijin.