Tuesday 15th September 2020
According to UN reports, more than a million Uyghurs are said to be doing forced labor in camps in China. The US Department of Homeland Security explains that products from this region should no longer be allowed to be imported into the USA, speaking of “slavery”.
US Customs will block certain products from Xinjiang because Washington believes they were made in the Chinese Autonomous Region with the help of slave labor. This is a “modern form of slavery,” said the Ministry of Homeland Security. The US government accuses China of curtailing human and civil liberties and using state forced labor to suppress the Uyghur Muslim minority in the northwestern province.
The import ban affects cotton, textile, hair and computer products from four manufacturers, as well as goods that were produced in a certain warehouse. According to the Chinese representation, the camp is a training center, whereas the US government regards it as an internment camp for the political re-education of Uyghurs. Beijing speaks of vocational training institutions that are attended voluntarily.
“More than a million Uyghurs in camps”
In June, the US passed a law calling for the first time sanctions against a member of the Chinese Politburo, Xinjiang Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, for being responsible for “gross human rights violations”. US companies that operate in Xinjiang are also required by law to ensure that they do not use parts that are made by forced labor in the labor camps.
The estimated ten million Uighurs in China are ethnically related to Turks and feel oppressed by the ruling Han Chinese. After they came to power in Beijing in 1949, the communists incorporated the former East Turkestan into China. According to United Nations estimates, more than a million Uyghurs have been held in camps in the Chinese province of Xinjiang in recent years. China denies any mistreatment of this minority and regards what is going on in the remote province as a domestic issue. Beijing accuses Uyghur groups of separatism and terrorism.