WASHINGTON – The U.S. government on Tuesday stepped up its warnings to businesses about growing supply chain risks and investment links in China’s Xinjiang region, citing forced labor and human rights abuses there.
“Given the severity and extent of these abuses, companies and individuals who do not leave Xinjiang-related supply chains, businesses and / or investments could be at high risk of violating US law. “the State Department said in a statement.
Signaling broader coordination by the US government on the issue, the Department of Labor and the US Trade Representative have joined in the release of the updated notice, first released on July 1, 2020 under the Trump administration. by the Departments of State, Commerce, Homeland Security and the Treasury.
The new advisory reinforces the warning to US companies, noting that they risk violating US law if their operations are linked even “indirectly” to the Chinese government’s “vast and growing surveillance network” in Xinjiang. The disclaimer also applies to the provision of financial support by venture capital and private equity firms.
It also summarized previously announced steps taken by the Biden administration to tackle forced labor and other rights violations in Xinjiang, including a ban by US customs and border protection on imports of solar equipment from region, and sanctions against companies and entities in Xinjiang.
The move follows action on Friday in which the administration added 14 Chinese companies and other entities to its economic blacklist for alleged human rights violations and high-tech surveillance in Xinjiang.
The advisory says the Chinese government continues “horrific abuses” in Xinjiang and elsewhere “targeting Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and predominantly Muslim Kyrgyz people, and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups.”
China denies the abuses and says it has established vocational training centers in Xinjiang to fight religious extremism.