Washington: The US has blacklisted 11 Chinese companies over the use of Uyghurs for forced labour. These include companies that provide raw materials and manufactured goods to some of the US’ big firms such as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Tommy Hilfiger. Only two weeks ago, US Department of State had warned US companies, which get their goods manufactured from China, to reconsider ties with Chinese firms and ruling Communist regime as they are forcing Uyghurs into modern-day slavery.
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced blacklisting 11 Chinese firms as he showered criticism on the country. ‘The Chinese regime is forcing Uyghurs into modern-day slavery. China is oppressing the Uyghur community, performing DNA tests and imposing restrictions on them,’ Ross said. This is the third instance of the inclusion of Chinese firms in the US blacklist over its mistreatment and human rights abuses. Earlier, the US administration had blacklisted 37 companies and other entities.
The blacklist announced on Monday includes Nanchang O-Film Tech, two subsidiaries of Beijing Genomics Institute, KTK Group Co, Tanyuan Technology Co, Changji Esquel Textile Co, Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories. Among these, Nanchang O-Film Tech is a leading Chinese tech firm, which is a supplier to the US big tech like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. In 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook had even visited its factory. Also, US company Tommy Hilfiger gets its products manufactured from Changji Esquel Textile Co.
China is repeatedly committing atrocities against Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province for the past few years, and the international community has also taken cognisance of the matter. A UN report in 2018, had made the sensational revelation that China had imprisoned nearly 1.1 million Uyghurs in concentration camps. After that, the western nations began targeting China over the treatment of Uyghurs, and the US has taken the forefront in it. Furthermore, the Trump administration has made many significant decisions on Uyghurs in the past few months.
In June, President Trump had signed the Uyghur Human Rights Act into law. The law has the provision to sanction Chinese officials. It targets the Chinese officials that are involved in the Chinese Communist regime’s crackdown on Uyghurs. Moreover, the law enlists Chen Quanguo, the top Communist Party official in Xinjiang and a member of China’s powerful Politburo. Previously, in May as also October last year, the US had imposed sanctions on the Chinese companies and government agencies.