China denounces US import restrictions over Uyghur rights abuses


​The Chinese government on Friday denounced a bill signed by President Biden that restricts imports from Xinjiang, where China is accused of human rights abuse​s​ against ​ethnic and religious minorities.

Biden on Thursday signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which prohibits the importation of goods from China’s northwest Xinjiang region unless the importer can prove they were not manufactured using forced labor.

The measure “maliciously denigrates the human rights situation in China’s Xinjiang in disregard of facts and truth,” foreign ministry spokesman​ ​Zhao Lijian​ said.​

“It seriously violates international law and basic norms governing international relations and grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs,” Zhao said. “China deplores and firmly rejects this.”​

The US has accused China of ​conducting a campaign of cultural genocide against the Uyghurs that includes chilling reports of torture, rape, forced abortions and executions.

President Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act on Thursday.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Up to a million Uyghurs are believed to be held in massive detention centers where they are forced to manufacture goods and undergo indoctrination.​

The Chinese government denies the accusations, claiming that it is waging war against Islamic terrorism and that the Uyghurs are learning trades and ​being taught patriotism.

The accusations are “vicious lies concocted by anti-China forces,”  Zhao said. “Residents of all ethnic groups there enjoy happy and fulfilling lives.”

A worker gathers cotton yarn at a textile manufacturing plant,
The bill restricts imports from Xinjiang, China, where the abuse​s are allegedly taking place​.
AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

The Biden administration previously announced a diplomatic boycott of February’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, which has been joined by Canada, the UK, Australia and Lithuania. Japan announced Friday that it will not send any senior officials or Cabinet ministers to the Olympics, but stopped short of declaring a full diplomatic boycott.

With Post wires