US Senate Approves Import Ban Targeting Forced Labor And Exploitation Of Uyghur Muslims In China


New Delhi: The United States Senate has given its final approval to the bill seeking to ban imports from China’s Xinjiang region unless the exporter can assure that the goods were produced without forced labour.

It is the latest move by the USA to intensify penalties on China through sanctions for their alleged atrocities on the religious and ethnic minorities in the western part of the country, especially in the Xinjiang region. News agency AP reported that the Senate scaled sanctions on various Chinese biotech and surveillance companies on Thursday, including drone manufacturers and government entities.

While China has always denied the, the US has claimed that raw cotton, gloves, tomato products, silicon and viscose, fishing gear, and a range of components in solar energy are among goods that are produced through forced labour.

US President Joe Biden supported the measure, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this week. This came after months of the White House declining to take a public stand on an earlier version of the legislation.

The commerce department has put new penalties on China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences and its 11 research institutes that focus on using biotechnology to support the Chinese military, reported AP.

Apart from this, the treasury department also put some Chinese firms on the blacklist. These included DJI, the largest drone manufacturer in the world. The blacklist also includes image-recognition software firm Megvii, supercomputer manufacturer Dawning Information Industry, facial recognition specialist CloudWalk Technology, cybersecurity group Xiamen Meiya Pico, artificial intelligence company Yitu Technology and cloud computing firms Leon Technology and NetPosa Technologies.

The move has come after the US’ recent diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing over the “egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang”. The US athletes would be participating but there will be no diplomatic representation by the USA. followed by many other countries.

The US Senate also appointed veteran diplomat Nicholas Burns as ambassador to Beijing, filling a position vacant for more than a year on Thursday.

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