China vows to respond after US enacts Xinjiang sanctions – ABC News

December 17, 2021 by No Comments

BEIJING — China will take all necessary measures to safeguard its institutions and enterprises, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday after the U.S. Senate passed a law barring imports from the Xinjiang region unless businesses can prove they were made without forced labor.

“The relevant actions seriously undermine the principles of market economy and international economic and trade rules, and seriously damage the interests of Chinese institutions and enterprises,” Wang told reporters at a daily briefing.

“China strongly deplores and rejects that and urges the U.S. to immediately correct its mistake. China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese institutions and enterprises,” Wang said without elaborating.

The law is the latest U.S. penalty over China’s alleged systemic and widespread abuse of ethnic and religious minorities in its far western region, especially Xinjiang’s predominantly Muslim Uyghurs.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the law after overcoming initial hesitation from the White House and what supporters said was opposition from corporations. He also announced new sanctions Thursday that target several Chinese biotech and surveillance companies, a leading drone manufacturer and government entities for their actions in Xinjiang.

Despite numerous independent investigations finding forced sterilization and large detention camps where many Uyghurs allegedly are compelled to work in factories, China has denounced all such claims as the “lie of the century.”

It portrays them as part of an effort to stifle China’s growth and damage its reputation. China at first denied the prison-like camps exist but later said they were voluntary centers for job training and de-radicalization. It now says all “students” have graduated.

“The U.S. government is trying to strangle the economy of Xinjiang through its industrial and supply chains under the false pretexts of ‘forced labor’ and ‘violations of human rights,’ the official Xinhua News Agency said Friday, citing a report by the Institute for Central Asia Studies under Lanzhou University in northwestern Gansu province.

The U.S. says raw cotton, gloves, tomato products, silicon, fishing gear and a range of solar energy components are among goods allegedly made with help from forced labor.

Xinjiang is a resource-rich mining region, important for both agricultural production and manufacturing. Detainees also are sometimes transferred from Xinjiang to work in factories elsewhere, making clothing and textiles, electronics, solar energy equipment and car parts, the U.S. says.

U.S. government agencies are required to expand monitoring for forced labor by China’s ethnic minorities. The new law establishes a presumption that goods from Xinjiang are made with forced labor, so businesses wanting to import goods from there must prove no involvement of forced labor, including by workers transferred from Xinjiang.

Factory work has long been associated with the camps, through which somewhere between 900,000 and 1.5 million Uygurs and other Chinese Muslims have passed, said Darren Byler, an assistant professor of international studies at Canada’s Simon Fraser University who has studied and written extensively about the camps.

Workers considered troublesome may be given prison terms, sometimes in camps converted into penitentiaries, Byler said. After they leave, they are kept in line through constant surveillance and the threat of being sent back to the camps, he said.

Muslims sent to work in other …….



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