Biden signs law banning imports from Xinjiang

U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law Thursday a bill that bans virtually all imports from the Chinese region of Xinjiang in response to concerns over the use of forced labor.
The bill, which was approved by Congress last week, also requires the U.S. president to impose sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
"This is the most important and impactful action taken thus far by the United States to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for their use of slave labor," Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a driver of the bill, said in a statement.
Some U.S. businesses had voiced unease about the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which bans the import of all goods from the region unless companies offer verifiable proof that production did not involve forced labor.
An estimated 20 percent of garments imported into the U.S. each year include some cotton from Xinjiang.
Rights experts, witnesses and the U.S. government say more than one million Uyghurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims are incarcerated in camps in an effort to root out their Islamic cultural traditions and forcibly assimilate them into China's Han majority.
Washington has described the campaign as genocide.
The United States has already hit some Chinese officials and businesses with sanctions and announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics in protest of the conditions in Xinjiang.
Beijing describes the sites as vocational training centers and says it is seeking to reduce the allure of radical Islam following deadly attacks.

© 2021 AFP
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