Just hours after the US banned all cotton and tomato imports from disputed Xinjiang region, China lambasted Washington calling it a “rude interference” that would “harm” the security of global supply chains and “impede” economic recovery against the coronavirus. With just a few days left for a transition in the American administration, the incumbent government is pulling all stops to oppose “oppressive moves” by the communist regime. Following the same on January 13, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced a total ban on the import of both products citing the use of “forced labour.”
Read: Russia Imposes Ban On Azerbaijan Tomato Imports After War With Moscow’s Ally Armenia
Read: Gelatin Sticks & detonators Packed In Tomato Crates Coming From TN Seized By Kerala Police
Beijing’s internal matter
In the aftermath of the sudden sanction, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has voiced opposition highlighting that Xinjiang was Beijing’s “internal matter.” In a later tweet, the ministry stated that both tomato and cotton were important for global industrial chain and an interrupution would not only harm secutiry of global supply chains but also impede global recovery from the ongoing crisis. “The so-called forced labour issue is a lie of the century fabricated out of thin air,” said a foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian.
“China opposes the rude interference of certain countries in China’s internal affairs,” MOFCOM spokesperson was quoted as saying in a tweet by state-controlled Global Times.
“We urge the U.S. side to respect facts, immediately withdraw its wrong decision and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Xinjiang-related issues,” it added.
Last month, the European Parliament observed that Chinese authorities were deliberately sending Uigur woman of childbearing age into forced abortions, intrauterine injections and sterilisation. However, China has consistently denied allegations of forced labour and other claims of human rights abuses in the area, which is home to about 11 million Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority that speak a language closely related to Turkish and have their own distinct culture. The US State Department estimates that since 2017, up to two million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minorities could have passed through the camp system, which China calls vocational training centres designed to fight extremism.
Read: Xinjiang Forced Labour Issue May Hit China’s Investment Agreement With EU
Read: China Demands US Lift Xinjiang Cotton, Tomato Import Ban