The United States on Monday banned imports of certain Chinese products originating in Xinjiang Province, with a Muslim population, claiming that they are made of forced labor.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported in a statement that customs and border protection has issued five WRO orders, which is a figure employed by Washington to ban imports of goods it believes are the result of forced labor.
Chinese products from slavery!
In the note, DHS explains that the Chinese products subject to these five orders “were produced by state-sponsored (Chinese) forced labor in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, where the Chinese government is involved in systematic human rights abuses against the Uighur people and other ethnic and religious minorities.”
“Adopting this action, DHS is fighting illegal and inhuman forced labour, a type of modern slavery, used to manufacture goods that the Chinese government is trying to import into the U.S.”
Said DHS undersecretary-in-office Ken Cuccinelli.
The orders affect computer equipment, hair products, cotton and clothing, supposedly manufactured in internment camps and in prisons in Xinjiang.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed in another statement that this measure “demonstrates that the world will not tolerate human rights abuses by China against Uighurs and members of other minority Muslim groups, including subjecting individuals to forced labor and taking them away from their freedom.”
Washington estimates that more than one million Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other members of Muslim minorities have been detained by the Chinese government in internment camps in Xinjiang, where they could have been abused and tortured.
On the other hand, the State Department lowered travel recommendations to China on Monday from level 4 to level 3.
In this way, the U.S. authorities go from recommending their citizens not to travel to the Asian country “due to the overall impact of COVID-19” to “reconsidering travel to China, including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”, due to the pandemic and “arbitrary enforcement of local laws”.
The pandemic, of which US President Donald Trump blames China – often refers to the coronavirus as “Chinese virus” – has strained relations between Washington and Beijing.
On 31 January, the representative banned travelers from China from entering the US, a move he later applied to travelers from the European Schengen area, to prevent the expansion of the pandemic.