United Nations rights chief discussing visit to Xinjiang with China

FILE- Residents line up inside a vocational training center in Artux in western China's Xinjiang region Dec. 3 2018. Critics say China uses some of these facilities as detention camps for forced labor

The US announced Monday it would block a range of Chinese products made by "forced labour" in the Xinjiang region, including from a "vocational" centre that it branded a "concentration camp" for Uighur minorities.

The CBP orders apply to cotton produced and processed by Xinjiang Junggar Cotton and Linen Co.in Xinjiang; apparel produced by Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Co. and Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business Co.in Xinjiang; hair products made in the Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park in Xinjiang; all products made with labor from the Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center in Xinjiang; and computer parts made by Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co.in Anhui Province.

A number of Uighurs are believed to be illegitimately detained at such facilities.

"President Trump and this Department have, and always will, put American workers and businesses first and protect American citizens from participating in these egregious human rights violations", said acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli. "A place where religious and ethnic minorities are subject to abuse and forced to work in heinous conditions with no recourse and no freedom". "This is modern day slavery". Information reasonably indicates that these entities use prison and forced labor in apparel production.

The new United States actions fell short of what some had expected to be a more widespread ban on imports from China, which would have targeted all cotton and tomato products exported from the Xinjiang region to the US. Cuccinelli said the administration was still studying the proposal.

He told reporters on a conference call that the administration was conducting more legal analysis of the region-wide import bans.


Cuccinelli denied that the delay in the regional order had anything to do with concerns about hurting the US-China trade deal.

It also hit several officials with sanctions, including Chen Quanguo, the Chinese Communist Party chief for the Xinjiang region and architect of Beijing's hardline policies against restive minorities. "The 1.4 billion Chinese people including all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have seen through the hypocrisy and malicious intentions of the US, as has the entire worldwide community".

"These actions send a clear message to the PRC that it is time to end its practice of state-sponsored forced labor and to respect the human rights of all people", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

"Forced labor is an atrocious human rights abuse", he said.

In August, CBP issued an order to halt to imports from Shanghai-based Hero Vast Group for using prison labor to make clothing that was exported to the United States.

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