Australia’s CMO defends the roll-out of the AstraZeneca vaccine

China said on Wednesday it will take all necessary measures to safeguard sovereignty and development interests, after Canada and Britain clamped down on imports made by Chinese forced labor in Xinjiang region.

Britain and Canada should immediately withdraw their wrong decisions, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular news briefing.

Beijing has long defended the crackdown in Xinjiang as necessary to tackle extremism and terrorism, and has claimed that its facilities are voluntary “training centres” where people learn vocational skills, Chinese language and laws.

“The evidence of the scale and severity of the human rights violations being perpetrated in Xinjiang against the Uyghur Muslims is now far reaching,” Raab told members of parliament. He said the new measures are meant to “send a clear message that these violations of human rights are unacceptable, and to safeguard UK businesses and public bodies from any involvement or linkage with them.”

Raab is also calling for the United Nations to have access to the Xinjiang region to verify allegations of forced labor and other human rights violations.

Washington has taken its own steps to curtail imports from Xinjiang. Last month, the Trump administration announced that it would block imports of cotton from there — the latest restriction related to the region.

Xinjiang’s position in the international supply chain network means that there is a real risk of businesses and public bodies around the world – whether it’s inadvertently or otherwise – sourcing from suppliers which are complicit in the use of forced labour.

Allowing those responsible for these violations to profit, or indeed making a profit themselves by supplying the authorities in Xinjiang.

SHARE ON