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US Government imposes sanctions on Chinese firms over Uyghur human rights abuses

Thursday 1st July 2021 is the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, and it’s an opportune time to take to the streets in solidarity with the 3 million Uyghurs in concentration camps in occupied East Turkestan, referred to as “Xinjiang” province. Don’t let them feel that the Ummah has forsaken them—join the numerous organisations, scholars and leaders from all across the Muslim community for a truly inspiring display of moral support.

On Wednesday, the government of the United States imposed sanctions against a number of prominent Chinese solar material manufacturers. These companies are accused of being complicit in human rights violations against the Uyghur people of East Turkestan, which is also referred to as the Xinjiang region.

The US federal government added the names of a number of companies to the Commerce Department’s Entity List, which means that all forms of trade between the United States and the blacklisted Beijing-owned entities will now be proscribed. These businesses include Hoshine Silicon Industry (Shanshan) Co., Ltd., Xinjiang Daqo New Energy Co., Ltd., Xinjiang East Hope Nonferrous Metals Co., Ltd., Xinjiang GCL New Energy Material Technology Co., Ltd, and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC).

Both the sanctions and trade restrictions are in response to the Department of Commerce’s claim that these companies are willing participants in the current genocide, by openly profiteering from the oppression meted against the Uyghur people. This is because these organisations have benefited from the forced labour of thousands of Uyghurs, who have been transferred to work for these companies under deplorable conditions. This present-day slavery mainly takes place in the eastern province of Xinjiang, which is referred to as East Turkestan by the indigenous Uyghur Muslim populace.

The Department said the following in a press release:

“The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added five Chinese entities to the Entity List for accepting or utilizing forced labor in the implementation of the People’s Republic of China’s campaign of repression against Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).” [1]

With reference to the sanctions, the Department provided the following details:

“This action targets these entities’ ability to access commodities, software, and technology subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and is part of a U.S. Government-wide effort to take strong action against China’s ongoing campaign of repression against Muslim minority groups in the XUAR.” [1]

Most of these listed companies are major manufacturers and producers of monocrystalline silicon and polysilicon, both of which are materials that are used for the production of solar panels. In the last few years, Beijing has accelerated its production of solar panels in East Turkestan, which is the region where the overwhelming majority of polysilicon manufacturing occurs.

According to Al Jazeera, for a considerable period of time US state officials had mulled over implementing trade restrictions on Chinese solar panel producers in the autonomous province. A decision was finally reached when US President Joe Biden approved the legislation formalising the sanctions.

Former Secretary of State and current Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry issued the following remarks in the House of Representatives:

“It is my understanding that the Biden administration is right now in the process of assessing whether or not that will be the target of sanctions.” [2] Kerry made this comment before the US government decided to implement the sanctions.

The US government has levied sanctions on a number of Chinese entities in recent years, as a result of Beijing’s oppressive and brutal policies against Uyghur Muslims living in the Xinjiang region. In March of this year, the US Treasury Department sanctioned two Chinese officials in connection with the horrid violations and atrocities against Uyghur Muslims.

The Chinese government has come under increasing criticism from the international community after mounting evidence revealed that Beijing is implementing an intense campaign of cultural genocide and horrific human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. [2]

The Chinese regime has defended its genocidal policies in the region, arguing that they are necessary coercive measures which are aimed at tackling extremism and terrorism. This is a trope that is routinely used to mask and cover the gross human rights abuses being committed.

The Chinese government has routinely denied the existence of concentration camps, despite there being clear evidence to the contrary. Up to a million Muslims are believed to be detained in these camps. The regime claims that these are ‘re-educational centres’ which are built to reform the local population and teach them new skills.

Earlier this year, a horrifying report published by the BBC revealed the extent to which rape is used against defenceless Uyghur Muslim women detained in these concentration camps. The report shares horrific and explicit witness accounts of how Chinese soldiers and police officers viciously rape and torture Uyghur women in the camps. Furthermore, Uyghur Muslim women are forcibly sterilised, robbing them of their right to bear children. These policies appear to be aimed at curbing the Muslim population in the province.

In March of this year, a ground-breaking report revealed that every single article of the United Nations 1948 Genocide Convention has been violated by the Chinese state in its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Subsequently, there is no doubt that the Chinese state bears responsibility for the crime of genocide.

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Source: www.islam21c.com


[1] https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2021/06/commerce-department-adds-five-chinese-entities-entity-list

[2] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/6/23/us-sanctions-chinese-solar-firms-for-uighur-human-rights-abuses


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