China firmly opposes US ban on imports of Xinjiang-related products: MOFCOM
Published: Jun 22, 2022 01:39 AM


China firmly opposes the US ban on imports of any products related to Xinjiang. The US move is a typical act of economic coercion, seriously harming the interests of enterprises and consumers in both countries, and it is not conducive to the stability of global industrial and supply chains, a spokesperson from China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Tuesday.

The remarks came after the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said on Tuesday that all products produced in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region involved so-called "forced labor," and it banned imports of any products related to the region on the basis of the US' so-called Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. 

The spokesperson noted that in the name of "[protecting] human rights," the US is practicing unilateralism and protectionism, seriously undermining market principles and violating WTO rules. The US approach is not conducive to the alleviation of global inflation and the recovery of the world economy.

In fact, Chinese laws clearly prohibit forced labor. Residents of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are completely free and equal in labor and employment, with their labor rights and interests effectively protected by related laws, and their living standards are constantly improving. 

From 2014 to 2021, the disposable income of urban residents in Xinjiang increased from 23,000 yuan ($3,433.9) to 37,600 yuan, while the disposable income of rural residents rose from about 8,700 yuan to 15,600 yuan. By the end of 2020, poverty had also been addressed with more than 3.06 million rural poor people in Xinjiang being lifted out of poverty.

At present, in the process of sowing cotton in Xinjiang, the integrated mechanization level has reached more than 98 percent in most areas, so the claims of so-called "forced labor" in the region are simply not consistent with the facts. 

The US implementation of a total ban on Xinjiang-related products on the grounds of "forced labor" is in essence depriving the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang of their labor rights and right to development, which will result in de facto "forced non-labor" and lead to their unemployment and even return to poverty, the ministry said.

The facts show that the US' real intention is to smear China's image, interfere in China's internal affairs, contain China's development, and undermine Xinjiang's prosperity and stability. The US should immediately stop its political manipulation and distorted attacks, stop infringing on the rights and interests of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, and withdraw all sanctions and suppressive measures related to Xinjiang. 

China will take necessary actions to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of the people of all ethnic groups in the region, the spokesperson noted.

Amid the high inflation and low growth of the world economy, the ministry hopes that the US will do more to contribute to the stability of industrial and supply chains as well as economic recovery, creating conditions for deepening economic and trade cooperation.