US blocks China’s cotton due to human rights concerns in Xinjiang
Washington DC [US], December 3 : The US government has issued an order to block cotton imports from a Xinjiang governmental organisation in China due to the ongoing human rights abuses of Uyghurs, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on Wednesday.
“The US Department of Homeland Security announced today that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel at all US ports of entry will detain shipments containing cotton and cotton products originating from the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC),” the release said on Wednesday.
The Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Trade directed the issuance of a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against cotton products made by the XPCC based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labour, including convict labour, the release said.
“The WRO applies to all cotton and cotton products produced by the XPCC and its subordinate and affiliated entities as well as any products that are made in whole or in part with or derived from that cotton, such as apparel, garments, and textiles,” the release added.
The WRO on XPCC cotton products is the sixth enforcement action that the CBP has announced in the past three months against goods made by forced labour from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, according to the release.
A sizeable Muslim population in Xinjiang has been incarcerating in an expanding network of “political re-education” camps, according to US officials and UN experts.
However, China regularly denies such mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training.
People in the internment camps are reportedly subjected to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings and denial of food and medicine, besides being prohibited from practising their religion or speaking their language.