China says it will defend itself against UK Xinjiang labor measures – Times of India

BEIJING: China said on Wednesday it would defend itself against a UK government demand on companies to ensure their supply chains are free from forced labor linked to the northwest region of China. Xinjiang or face punitive fines.
The comment came after UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said officials issued advice to UK companies linked to Xinjiang on how to conduct due diligence checks.
The government intends to exclude suppliers and review export controls to prevent the shipment of any goods that could contribute to such violations in Xinjiang, where China is accused of widespread rights violations against Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups.
China denies allegations of rights violations and forced labor, saying it only aims to increase minority incomes and eradicate radicalism.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said China “will take all necessary measures to uphold national interests and dignity and firmly safeguard its sovereign, security and development interests.”
“Individual countries, including the United Kingdom, have funded, concocted and deliberately spread lies and rumors to defame and discredit China under the pretext of so-called human rights issues,” Zhao told reporters during a daily briefing. to curb the development and progress of Xinjiang and interfere in China’s internal affairs. ”
In his announcement, Raab said Brittany sought to ensure that “no company that profits from forced labor in Xinjiang can do business in the UK and that no UK company is involved in its supply chains.”
He said a growing body of evidence, including first-hand testimonies and reports from nonprofit groups, supports the allegations of illegal mass detention in Xinjiang internment camps, widespread forced labor and of forced sterilization of women on an “industrial scale”.
The evidence “paints a heartbreaking picture” and showed the practice of “barbarism that we hoped to lose by another era,” Raab said.
China has denied the mass internments of Uyghurs, saying it was only operating voluntary de-radicalization and vocational training centers and that all participants had since “graduated.”
China says its policies in the vast, resource-rich region bordering several countries in Central Asia have ended the anti-government violence that has claimed the lives of thousands in recent years.

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