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SANCTIONS ON CHINA WON’T HELP UYGHURS AND OTHER MIGRANT WORKERS

Inkstick, China, 8 July 2021 - The growing international attention to Uyghur Muslims and what China calls “vocational training centers” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has resulted in global discussion and response from world leaders in the form of economic sanctions. But the public discourse about Uyghurs has become too politicized to benefit those who are said to be subject to forced labor.

Academics, think tanks, NGOs and governments have accused the Chinese government of genocide, forced labor and forced sterilization. Beijing has dismissed such allegations as false information fabricated by anti-China forces. Xinjiang’s local government claims to have opened these centers in the hope of eliminating the root causes of terrorism by improving the employability of jobless Uyghurs who are considered vulnerable to radicalization.

The G7 conference recently prompted another round of joint sanctions against Chinese officials. The sanctions include punitive measures against individuals and companies and restricting trade. Now Uyghurs, as Dru C. Gladney puts it, are at risk of being “used as a pawn in a larger geopolitical strategy.”

In 2020, the Better Cotton Initiative, an NGO advocating cotton sustainability, suspended licensing of cotton grown in Xinjiang until 2021. This decision was likely to prevent 500,000 tons of cotton from entering the global supply chain. But as the public backlash from Chinese consumers grew, the statement disappeared from the group’s website in April 2021, allegedly due to a cyberattack.

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Source: https://inkstickmedia.com/sanctions-on-china-wont-help-uyghurs-and-other-migrant-workers/

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