United States President Donald Trump says he didn’t impose sanctions on Chinese officials further over the treatment and detention of Muslims in Xinjiang as he was in the “middle of a trade deal”. Trump was speaking with Axios news site. He told that achieving a “great” deal meant he could not impose “additional sanctions”.
China has been holding a million Uighurs Muslims and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang for indoctrination and punishment. China has denied mistreating them. Ex-Trump aide John Bolton’s allegations in a book has arisen the issue. Bolton alleges that in a summit last year, Trump gave Chinese President Xi Jinping the green light on building the camps in its western region. He added that Trump said it was “exactly the right thing to do”.
Trump has denied Bolton’s allegations. Axios says that when Trump was asked about not imposing further sanctions on Communist Party officials over the issue of the camps, he said: “Well, we were in the middle of a major trade deal.” He added, “And when you’re in the middle of a negotiation and then all of a sudden you start throwing additional sanctions on – we’ve done a lot. I put tariffs on China, which are far worse than any sanction you can think of.”
US and China indulged in a trade war. U.S. had imposed tariffs on more than $360bn (£288bn) of Chinese goods. China retaliated with tariffs on more than $110bn of US products before a “phase one” deal was signed in January. When asked about not using the Global Magnitsky Act – passed by Congress in 2016 to counter human rights violations -Trump said “nobody’s mentioned it specifically to me with regard to China”.
Axios also pressed Trump about Bolton’s allegation that he asked President Xi to help him win re-election by buying agricultural produce from US farmers. He responded, “No, not at all. What I told everybody we deal with, not just President Xi, I want them to do business with this country. What’s good for the country is good for me.”