China says European Union observers free to visit Xinjiang

China says European Union observers free to visit Xinjiang

The Trump administration has banned imports of cotton, hair products, clothing, and other products made with forced labor from China's Xinjiang region, where the regime has detained more than 1 million Uyghur Muslims and other Muslim minorities.

One of Xinjiang's "vocational skills education and training centers" is also named in the order, a name used euphemistically by Beijing to refer to the large re-education camps where inmates from Muslim minorities are allegedly detained, made to pledge loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party, and work as free or low-priced forced labor in factories and nearby facilities.

The Trump administration issued new import restrictions on Monday against Chinese companies it accuses of using slave labor, including products from suspected mass prison camps in China's western Xinjiang region.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said investigations into the broader import bans were still being pursued.

"My Office continues to engage with the Chinese Government on the situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and the impact on human rights of its policies", U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet told a council meeting in Geneva.

"US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued five Withhold Release Orders (WRO) today on products from the People's Republic of China (PRC)", the department said in a statement.

"This is modern day slavery".

The US-China relations have deteriorated after the COVID-19 outbreak, with President Donald Trump squarely blaming Beijing for allowing the disease to spread across the world.

In late June, US Customs seized a shipment of human hair products believed to have been made in the Xinjiang region.

"We call on the Chinese Communist Party to immediately end these horrific practices and ask all nations to join the United States in demanding an end to these dehumanizing abuses", reads a banner quote from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pomepo at the top of the page.

The US government is increasingly using such orders to pressure Beijing over its detention of more than one million members of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority in Xinjiang for ostensible reeducation. Mr Cuccinelli said the administration was still studying the proposal. Dozens of Chinese entities and companies also have been blacklisted from doing business with us firms.

China has denied widespread and consistent reports of abuse and mistreatment of the Uyghurs and other minorities, defending the campaign as an effort to crack down on extremism.

CBP chief Mark Morgan said officials also hope businesses look at their own supply chains, and USA consumers take a closer look at what they're buying so they can bring their own pressure to bear on China."We can use our economic power to tell businesses we will not stand by", Mr. Morgan said.

The Chinese embassy in Washington referred to past Chinese foreign ministry statements rejecting allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang and criticizing the United States for meddling in China's internal affairs in the region.

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