China Blasts US Bill Banning Xinjiang Goods: “Masquerading Unilateralism, Protectionism & Bullying”

China Blasts US Bill Banning Xinjiang Goods: “Masquerading Unilateralism, Protectionism & Bullying”

On Wednesday night the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which blocks imports of goods produced by forced labor of Uyghurs in China, particularly in Xinjiang where widespread international reports have scrutinized a network of Communist ‘re-education’ and labor camps for the Muslim minority.

In particular the act targets “Goods manufactured or produced in Xinjiang” which “shall not be entitled to entry into the United States unless Customs and Border Protection (1) determines that the goods were not manufactured by convict labor, forced labor, or indentured labor under penal sanctions; and (2) reports such a determination to Congress and to the public,” according to the bill summary.

Sponsored by Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, the bill passed 428-1, with Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie being the lone vote against it.

428-1:House passed Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act,legislation banning the importation of goods made with forced labor in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.Bill by Rep. McGovern (D-MA) now heads to Senate,which passed its own version of the bill by voice vote in July. pic.twitter.com/c6tcz8V85Q

— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) December 8, 2021

“This is a strong, bipartisan bill with a simple purpose: to stop the government of China from exploiting the Uyghur people,” McGovern said in a statement. 

And coming on the heels of the Biden administration announcing it will enact a diplomatic boycott on the upcoming 2022 Beijing Olympic Games (meaning no American officials will attend, but US athletes will still compete), Rep. McGovern then hit specifically on linking human rights and the question of China hosting the Olympics:

In two months, the Chinese government will host the Winter Olympics in the middle of a genocide. We must take a clear moral position to stand with those who are suffering because of forced labor. No more business as usual. I am especially grateful to Speaker Pelosi for her longstanding and principled leadership on this issue and for getting it to the floor for a vote, and I urge the United States Senate to quickly pass this bill and get it to President Biden’s desk for his signature.”

The “genocide” label for what’s happening in Xinjiang goes back to the Trump administration, and has continued in the rhetoric of the Biden White House.

Beijing officials have essentially admitted to the existence of such facilities, but while US leaders have condemned the “slave camps” – China’s government has presented them as merely tantamount to job training and assistance programs, or a halfway house of sorts. Nike and Coca-Cola, as well as Apple, were among several major US companies which have aggressively lobbied against the bill. 

China, meanwhile, condemned the move, demanding that the US government stop it’s “wrong practices” regarding Xinjiang, according to a Thursday statement from Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng. He said the new legislation is an example of the United States “masquerading unilateralism, protectionism and bullying as concerns for human rights.” He vowed that China will “staunchly defend” its interests.

The bill will now head to the Senate where Marco Rubio, who has long been pushing for the legislation, said last week that “Today we have American corporations using slaves in China.” 

Tyler Durden
Thu, 12/09/2021 – 15:20

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