BEIJING (AP) — China on Thursday stated a U.S. order to halt imports of cotton and tomatoes from its Xinjiang area over alleged human rights abuses will disrupt international provide chains and hurt companies and shoppers.
Overseas Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian repeated China’s denial that it has trampled on the rights of Uighurs and different Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and compelled them to work on government-owned farms and in different industries.
“The so-called compelled labor subject is a lie of the century fabricated out of skinny air,” Zhao stated at a every day briefing.
The U.S. transfer violated “worldwide commerce guidelines and market financial system rules,” whereas disrupting international industrial and provide chains, Zhao stated. “It’s detrimental to the pursuits of enterprises and shoppers of all international locations, together with the US itself, which is a typical act that harms each others and the one itself.”
As a result of Xinjiang is a serious international provider of cotton, the order might have important results on worldwide commerce. The Trump administration has already blocked imports from particular person corporations linked to compelled labor within the area, and the U.S. has imposed sanctions on Communist Get together officers with distinguished roles within the marketing campaign.
China has constructed an enormous system of detention camps the place greater than 1 million Uighurs and others have been subjected to torture, sterilization and political indoctrination, in line with former inmates and monitoring teams. They’ve additionally stated compelled labor has been used as a part of an assimilation marketing campaign in a area whose inhabitants are ethnically and culturally distinct from the Han Chinese language majority.
Uighur compelled labor has been linked by reporting by The Related Press to numerous merchandise imported to the U.S., together with clothes and digital items resembling cameras and pc displays.
China says it goals solely to advertise financial and social growth within the area and stamp out non secular extremism, separatism and terrorism.
Canada and Britain each just lately stated they too would take steps to cease items tainted by compelled labor from coming into their international locations.
Estimates say the U.S. ban impacts about 20% of the worldwide cotton provide. Business figures say it may be troublesome to make sure tainted uncooked supplies don’t enter the availability chain, particularly as a result of Chinese language cotton is used to make clothes for export in different international locations resembling Bangladesh and Vietnam.
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