Forced labor exists in US, not China: Chinese FM
Published: Jun 27, 2022 10:19 PM
Zhao Lijian

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry

There is forced labor in the US, not in China, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a press conference on Monday, noting that the US has repeatedly hyped up the outrageous lie about so-called forced labor in Xinjiang and tried to create "forced unemployment," which reflects the guilt of the US itself. 

Zhao pointed out that forced labor is a chronic problem that has existed in the US since the birth of the country, adding that the long history of slavery is a reminder of the forced labor issues in the US.

A total of more than 12.5 million Africans were trafficked to America to engage in forced labor from 1525 to 1866, Zhao said, highlighting that a large number of black slaves were forced to work at the bottom of society in terrible working conditions. 

Zhao said that the US is still the epicenter of forced labor, making it a "modern slavery country." Zhao said at least 500,000 people in the US are living under modern slavery and forced labor conditions, according to an article published on the website of the University of Denver.

Forced labor is ubiquitous in the US, especially in fields of housekeeping, agricultural cultivation, tourism, and catering services, with as many as 100,000 people per year being trafficked from abroad to engage in forced labor in the country.

The US still has about 500,000 children engaged in agricultural work. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has for years expressed concern about serious injuries among child farm workers in the US.

Zhao stressed that while the US government is busy spreading lies and rumors about forced labor in other countries, it turns a blind eye to the issue of forced labor at home, with the US having yet to ratify the Forced Labor Convention of 1930.

The US should face up to its serious problem of forced labor as soon as possible and respond to the concerns of international society, rather than making groundless accusations against others, Zhao said.

Global Times