Home PoliticsPolitical Protests US Pledges Enforcement of Xinjiang Import Ban as Beijing Expresses Anger

US Pledges Enforcement of Xinjiang Import Ban as Beijing Expresses Anger

by YAR

The United States promised enforcement on Tuesday as a landmark ban went into effect on most imports from Xinjiang, the Chinese region where human rights groups say Uighur people are being forced into slave labor.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which will hit the textile industry particularly hard, went into effect six months after President Joe Biden signed it into law following bipartisan support in Congress.

Photograph of Uyghurs detained between January and July 2018 leaked to the BBC. Photo: BBC, via screenshot.

“We are bringing together our allies and partners to make global supply chains free from the use of forced labor,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which will enforce the new law, issued guidance saying it would presume Xinjiang products involve forced labor and are therefore prohibited unless companies can document otherwise.

The law “requires importers to demonstrate due diligence, effective supply chain monitoring, and supply chain management measures to ensure that they do not import any product manufactured, in whole or in part, through forced labor,” its official said. warning.

It said it would look at the entire supply chain and would not exempt goods shipped from other parts of China or third countries.

An estimated 20 percent of garments imported into the United States each year include some cotton from Xinjiang, according to labor rights groups.

The vast western region is also a major hub for canned tomatoes for export.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican hawk who teamed with liberal Democrats to push the legislation, called the law “the most significant change in the US relationship with China since 2001.”

Washington DC Capitol Building. Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

“We will no longer look at images of prisoners bareheaded, shackled and blindfolded, lined up like slaughter animals and shrugging their shoulders,” he wrote in an op-ed for Real Clear Politics.

‘Undermines free market principles’

China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001, helping usher in breakneck growth as it became the world’s manufacturing hub.

US policymakers of all parties have come to gradually push back on his bet that trade integration would temper Beijing, which the Biden administration has identified as America’s main global competitor.

China again expressed anger at the trade ban, saying it ran counter to global efforts to reduce inflation and stabilize supply chains.

“The act is strong evidence of the arbitrariness of the United States in undermining international economic and trade norms,” ​​Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.

“The US move goes against the trend of the times and is bound to fail.”

Wang Wenbin. Photo: Spokesperson Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, via Twitter.

But Omer Kanat, executive director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project, called the law a “huge victory” for the movement and said it would push other governments to take similar action.

Rights groups, citing eyewitness accounts, say more than a million Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim Turkic-speaking people have been locked up in re-education camps in a bid to forcibly integrate them into China’s Han majority.

Beijing denies the charges and says it is providing vocational training to reduce the appeal of Islamic extremism in the aftermath of the violence.

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