President Donald Trump said he didnt impose sanctions on Chinese officials involved in placing Uyghurs in concentration camps because of trade negotiations.
“Well, we were in the middle of a major trade deal,” Trump told Axios when asked why sanctions through the Treasury Department havent been enacted against officials or entities linked to the camps.
“And when youre in the middle of a negotiation and then all of a sudden you start throwing additional sanctions on—weve done a lot. I put tariffs on China, which are far worse than any sanction you can think of,” he added.
Trump signed legislation last week that calls for sanctions against those responsible for repressing the Uyghurs, an ethnic minority who primarily live in a region taken over by the Chinese Communist Party decades ago.
Of the approximately 10 million Uyghurs in Xinjiang, the region, millions are in concentration camps, according to the U.S. government.
“The Communist Party is using the security forces for mass imprisonment of Chinese Muslims in concentration camps,” Randall Schriver, who leads Asia policy at the U.S. Defense Department, told reporters in a briefing last year.
The new bill condemns gross human rights violations of ethnic Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang region and includes the authority to impose sanctions on certain foreign persons, the White House said in a statement.
Asked about Trumps remarks Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that she would have to get back to them.
She noted that Trump signed the legislation and said that he has, in the past, blacklisted companies that are complicit in Chinas treatment of Uyghurs and other minority groups. Both the Commerce Department and State Department have imposed restrictions on Chinese companies linked to the Xinjiang issues and the latter has restricted visas of CCP officials said to be responsible for some of the abuse.
Trump, in a statement after signing the bill, said the act “holds accountable perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses such as the systematic use of indRead More From Source