Fox News host, and staunch supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, Laura Ingraham slammed Trump on Wednesday for saying he had “unlimited” respect for Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Ingraham replied to a tweet from Trump saying, “'Unlimited respect' for a president who locks up a million plus dissidents, Muslims and Christians in internment camps? Who oversees a brutal assault on freedom 24/7? Why?”
Trump on Tuesday called the trade war with China "a little squabble" and insisted talks between the world's two largest economies had not collapsed, as investors remained on guard for a further escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs.
Trump, who has railed against what he describes as China's unfair trade practices and threatened to impose punitive levies on all its imports, softened his tone in a series of remarks expressing optimism about reaching a trade deal with Beijing.
"We're having a little squabble with China because we've been treated very unfairly for many, many decades," Trump told reporters, referring to U.S. complaints about Chinese intellectual property and subsidy practices.
In early May, The United States accused China of putting more than a million minority Muslims in "concentration camps," in some of the strongest U.S. condemnation to date of what it calls Beijing's mass detention of mostly Muslim Uighur minority and other Muslim groups.
The comments by Randall Schriver, who leads Asia policy at the U.S. Defense Department, are likely to increase tension with Beijing, which is sensitive to international criticism and describes the sites as vocational education training centers aimed at stemming the threat of Islamic extremism.
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Former detainees have described to Reuters being tortured during interrogation at the camps, living in crowded cells and being subjected to a brutal daily regimen of party indoctrination that drove some people to suicide.
Some of the sprawling facilities are ringed with razor wire and watch towers.
"The (Chinese) Communist Party is using the security forces for mass imprisonment of Chinese Muslims in concentration camps," Schriver told a Pentagon briefing during a broader discussion about China's military, estimating that the number of detained Muslims could be "closer to 3 million citizens."
Schriver, an assistant secretary of defense, defended his use of a term normally associated with Nazi Germany as appropriate, under the circumstances.