US Bans Imports From 2 More Chinese Firms Over Forced Labor Allegations in Xinjiang

Mary Hong
By Mary Hong
August 3, 2023China News

The United States has banned imports of goods from two China-based firms in an effort to “eliminate the use of forced labor practices in the U.S. supply chain,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Aug. 1.

Camel Group, a lead-acid battery producer, Chenguang Biotech Group, a food additive manufacturer, and its subsidiary Chenguang Biotechnology Group Yanqi, are blacklisted for their participation “in business practices that target persecuted groups, including Uyghur minorities” in China’s Xinjiang region, according to the announcement.

Effective Aug. 2, the enforcement aims to hold China’s communist regime accountable for the “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs” in Xinjiang, the statement reads.

“We will continue to work with all of our partners to keep goods made with forced labor from Xinjiang out of U.S. commerce while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade,” DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in the press release.

To date, 24 companies are being sanctioned under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden in December 2021, according to the DHS.

“The Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force continues to send a strong message to industry that the United States will not tolerate forced labor in our supply chains and that we will always stand up against cruel and inhumane labor practices,” said the Chair of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force, Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers.

“We are committed to the eradication of forced labor around the world,” Mr. Silvers said in the press release.

Beijing has repeatedly denied “forced labor” and “genocide” practices in Xinjiang, calling the U.S. allegations “lies,” “disinformation,” and “groundless stories.”

However, the “coercive labor” in Xinjiang “is getting less visible, but more intense,” according to Adrian Zenz, a senior fellow in China studies at the Washington-based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

“Coercive labor transfers for seasonal agricultural work such as cotton picking have continued through at least 2022 and remain part of Xinjiang’s official Five-Year Plan for 2021-25,” Mr. Zenz wrote in an analysis piece for Foreign Policy.

“Labor transfers subject Uyghurs to state-assigned work placements. They often separate them from their families and communities, subjecting them to intensive surveillance, long work hours, and mandatory political indoctrination and Chinese language classes in the evenings,” he wrote.

All companies operating in Xinjiang should be presumed to be engaging in “forced labor” and carrying the “risk of complicity in the ongoing genocide,” according to a February 2022 report titled “Financing and Genocide: Development Finance and the Crisis in the Uyghur Region.”

The report also mentioned Camel Group and Chenguang Biotech Group as two of the four companies operating in Xinjiang and financed by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group.

Zhang Ting contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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