Biden signs an anti-China Bill prohibiting the importation of goods from Xinjiang region due to forced labour. The anti-China bill was approved by Congress this month after members struck an agreement between the House and Senate versions.
A “rebuttable assumption” that all items from Xinjiang, where Beijing has constructed detention centres for Uyghurs and other Muslim populations, are manufactured using forced labour is central to the legislation. It prohibits imports unless proven differently.
Cotton, tomatoes, and polysilicon, which is used in solar panel manufacture, have been categorised as “high priority” for enforcement action.
China denies human rights violations in Xinjiang, a key cotton grower that also produces a large portion of the world’s solar panel components.
According to the Chinese embassy in Washington, the act “ignores the reality and intentionally slanders the human rights situation in Xinjiang.”
“This is a flagrant breach of international law and rules of international relations, as well as an intrusion into China’s domestic affairs. China strongly opposes and categorically rejects it “In an emailed statement, embassy spokeswoman Liu Pengyu stated.
He stated that China “will respond further in light of the evolution of the situation,” but provided no additional details.
Nury Turkel, the Uyghur-American vice chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, told Reuters earlier this month that the anti-China bill success will be determined by Biden’s administration’s commitment to ensure its effectiveness, particularly when firms request exceptions.
Biden signs an anti-China bill show the ratification of the measure, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, demonstrates the “United States’ commitment to combatting forced labour, notably in the context of the continuing genocide in Xinjiang.”
“The State Department is dedicated to continuing to confront forced labour in Xinjiang and to strengthening international action against this flagrant violation of human rights,” he said in a statement.
Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, one of the bill’s co-authors, said it was vital to “send a strong and clear statement against genocide and slave labour.”
“Now… we can finally assure that American consumers and companies may buy items without inadvertently contributing to China’s appalling human rights violations,” he added in a statement.
The Trump administration placed a ban on all Xinjiang cotton and tomato goods in its closing days in January.
In the previous year, the US Customs and Border Protection agency estimated that around $9 billion in cotton products and $10 million in tomato products were imported from China.