Updated: May 29, 2022 2:57 p.m. STI
beijing [China]May 29 (ANI): The release of Xinjiang police records, which show the extent and extremely repressive nature of China’s mass internment policies in East Turkestan, has led companies sourcing cotton in the region in China to rethink their supply chains.
Xinjiang cotton is widely used in the global garment industry. Last fall, 16% of cotton clothing on store shelves in the United States contained fibers from Xinjiang, The New York Times reported citing an investigation by Oritain, a company that performs forensic testing for determine the origin of the raw materials.
The regulations soon to come into force in the United States will allow customs officials to seize shipments of all goods made in Xinjiang unless companies can prove that their supply chains are free from forced labor, reported. the New York Times.
The new rule called the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Law and the inability of companies to determine what is happening in their supply chains are upending decades of China’s garment industry expansion.
But that left international brands in a dilemma. It is difficult for them to decide whether or not to leave Xinjiang. The reputational risk and legal costs from the West they could incur by staying are enormous, but the brands face significant business losses in China if they leave, The New York Times reported.
With rising cotton and shipping costs and growing competition, there is also the challenge of finding new partners.
Speaking openly about Xinjiang can spark nationalist Chinese consumer fury, such as calls for boycotts and accusations of companies colluding with Western governments to try to keep China down. That anger translated into lost sales totaling hundreds of millions of dollars for companies like H&M and Nike, The New York Times reported.
With this fear, many brands that have spoken out against forced labor in the past have chosen not to comment on this issue.
It comes after China’s crackdown on the Uyghur people came to light when the policy documents detailing systematic abuses in Xinjiang were released.
Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet recently visited Xinjiang during her six-day visit to China from May 23-28.
Her visit drew widespread criticism after she said the trip was “not an investigation” but insisted she had spoken with “honesty” in her meetings with Chinese officials.
The World Uyghur Congress group said Bachelet had lost a historic opportunity to investigate the Uyghur genocide and bring justice to the Uyghur people.
Human rights groups said the visit turned out to be a “propaganda opportunity” for China to whitewash its crimes against humanity and genocide against the Uyghur people.
Prior to Bachelet’s visit to China, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and 59 other groups had urged High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to take steps to prevent the Chinese government from manipulating the visit.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said on Saturday: “When it comes to protecting human rights, no one can claim perfection. China will follow the path of human rights development. man who suits his national conditions and defends the shared values of humanity, in particular peace, development, equity”. , justice, democracy and freedom.”
The United States also criticized Beijing’s efforts to restrict and manipulate the visit of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her team to China which “failed to allow for a full and Independent Human Rights Environment” in the country, including Xinjiang. , where “genocide and crimes against humanity continue”. (ANI)