China urges UK, Canada to revoke Xinjiang imports ban
Published: Jan 13, 2021 06:51 PM

A worker in the Pomegranate Seed Garment Co. in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region agrees to have her photo taken. Photo: Fan Lingzhi/GT

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday urged Canada and UK to immediately revoke their measures on imports from Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, saying such untenable measures were made based on lies and false information and were only a farce made by a few politicians.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian questioned the measures implemented by the UK and Canada in banning the import of goods that they claimed were made through "Chinese forced labor" in Xinjiang at Wednesday's media briefing, and said Britain and Canada have turned a deaf ear to the facts and truth, which have been repeatedly clarified by China. 

China will take all necessary measures to safeguard its national interests and firmly safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests, Zhao said.

He said that Xinjiang's ethnic minority workers choose their occupations according to their own will and sign labor contracts with enterprises in accordance with law.

"The so-called forced labor is a lie fabricated by some institutions and personnel in the US and some other Western countries," Zhao said.

Countries including the UK have funded and deliberately spread lies and rumors, smeared China on the pretext of issue of so-called human rights, and taken various measures to restrict and suppress enterprises in Xinjiang, fully exposing their hypocritical faces and sinister intentions to curb Xinjiang's development and interfere in China's internal affairs, Zhao said.

Zhao also quoted a Uygur worker from Xinjiang who went to East China's Zhejiang Province to work and live at a previous press conference, saying that claims that they were forced to work in other provinces and cities and were monitored were total nonsense.

"If we were monitored, why would I introduce my brother and friend to work in other provinces? I also saw foreigners work here. Are they also being forced?" Zhao cited the worker as saying. 

In a statement, Ottawa said it was "deeply concerned" by reports of "repression of Uygurs and other ethnic minorities by Chinese authorities" and urged businesses with links to the Xinjiang region to examine their supply chains, Reuters reported.

In response, the Chinese Embassy in Canada said in a statement that China expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition over this and strongly condemned such actions.

Canada is simply not qualified to be "a human rights preacher," has a bad record on its own indigenous problems, and its systemic racial discrimination is even more widely criticized, the embassy said.

Global Times