Ministry urges foreign businesses to visit Xinjiang to resolve dispute on cotton
Published: Mar 25, 2021 04:33 PM
MOFCOM's spokesperson Gao Feng. Photo: Li Xuanmin/GT

MOFCOM's spokesperson Gao Feng. Photo: Li Xuanmin/GT

China's Ministry of Commerce has called on foreign businesses to correct their mistakes in banning Xinjiang cotton and welcomed companies to visit Xinjiang.

Cotton produced in China's northwestern Xinjiang region is "pure and flawless", which has nothing to do with "forced labor" as alleged by some Western forces, said a spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce on Thursday.

It is hoped that the related apparel companies and retailers will uphold market rules, correct wrong practices and avoid politicization of commercial issues, said Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce, after a number of foreign enterprises including H&M were found to have boycotted Xinjiang cotton on allegation  of so-called "human rights" issues.

"The pure and flawless cotton in Xinjiang shall not be smeared by any outside forces," said Gao at a regular news briefing on Thursday.

"The so-called 'forced labor' in Xinjiang of China is nonexistent. We are opposed to any external forces interfering in the Xinjiang affairs and China's internal affairs, and opposed to any sanctions on relevant Chinese entities and individuals based on lies and false information and on the grounds of the so-called human rights issue in Xinjiang," he added.

At the same time, he said that the ministry welcome foreign enterprises to visit Xinjiang and will provide positive support for foreign enterprises to carry out trade and investment in the region.

He stressed that Chinese government has always welcomed and supported normal business activities of multinational enterprises in China and their efforts to build industrial supply chain in the country.

When it comes to so-called business decisions made by individual enterprises based on false information, Chinese consumers have responded with their practical actions, such as refusing to buy at H&M stores.

The China Consumers Association said in an announcement on Thursday that the ban on Xinjiang cotton imposed by some multinational enterprises has negatively impacted the sentiment of Chinese consumers and infringed on their legitimate rights and interests.

According to China Consumer Protection Law, the consumers enjoy the right to know about, to choose the products independently and to have their personal dignity respected, the statement said.

The association also urged relevant enterprises to abide by Chinese laws when operating in China.