Xinjiang: US to block Chinese ‘forced labour’ products as EU warns on trade

Xinjiang: US to block Chinese ‘forced labour’ products as EU warns on trade

  • Washington says ‘vocational’ centres are concentration camps as EU calls for independent observers in China’s western province

The US will block a range of Chinese products it says are made by forced labour in the Xinjiang region, including from a centre it branded a “concentration camp” for Uighur minorities.

Washington’s move came as the EU urged Beijing to let independent observers into Xinjiang and warned China must make concessions if it wants to agree a major investment deal with the bloc.

The US acting commissioner of the customs and border protection agency, Mark Morgan, accused the Chinese government of “systematic abuses against the Uighur people” and other minorities.

“Forced labor is an atrocious human rights abuse,” he said.

The blocked items will include cotton, garments, hair products and electronics from five specific manufacturers in Xinjiang.

It also included all products tied to the Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Centre in Xinjiang, which the homeland security acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli said was a centre of forced labor.

“This is not a vocational centre, it is a concentration camp, a place where religious and ethnic minorities are subject to abuse and forced to work in heinous conditions with no recourse and no freedom,” Cuccinelli told reporters. “This is modern-day slavery.”