China on Friday rejected allegations of US forced labor implicating Uighurs as “hypocrisy” after Washington warned companies to avoid supply chains linked to human rights abuses in the country. western region of Xinjiang.
The United States Department of State, along with three other bodies of the United States government, issued a notice to companies on Wednesday to warn companies to avoid entities linked to human rights abuses in Xinjiang such as forced labor and mass surveillance.
The notice was issued a day before US customs officials revealed that they had seized 13 tonnes of human hair products exported from Xinjiang, which were allegedly abducted from Uighurs detained in the region.
“The so-called forced labor issue is completely fabricated by certain people and organizations in the United States and the West,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said during a routine briefing.
“Some Americans claim on the one hand to care about the ethnic minorities of Xinjiang, but on the other hand also take measures to suppress Xinjiang businesses. This fully shows their ugly hypocrisy, of wanting to slow down the development of Xinjiang and to provoke (tensions) in Chinese ethnic relations. . “
Rights groups say at least one million Uighurs and other Turkish Muslims in northwest China have been held in camps in Xinjiang.
Uighur activists say China is waging a massive brainwashing campaign to eradicate their distinct culture and Islamic identity.
China describes the camps as vocational training sites intended to offer an alternative to Islamic extremism.
According to a report published in March by the think tank Australian Strategic Policy Institute, at least 83 global brands, including Nike and Apple, benefit from Uyghur forced labor in the manufacture of their products.
The report also estimates that between 2017 and 2019, more than 80,000 Uighurs were transferred from Xinjiang to factories across China with limited freedom of movement.
Zhao said that Xinjiang’s ethnic minorities are free to choose their jobs and that their rights to work are guaranteed by the Xinjiang government.
Since 2018, 151,000 surplus workers have been displaced from poverty-stricken families in southern Xinjiang to work in factories, he added.
Last December, Xinjiang regional authorities said that all the detainees had “graduated” from the institutions, but this statistic is difficult to verify due to the strict blocking of information in the region.
(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)