The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday hit out at the United States for introducing new restrictions on the import of cotton and apparel from the Northwest region of China over allegations of forced labor.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued five Withhold Release Orders over allegations of forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and has threatened to issue more.
“These extraordinary human rights violations demand an extraordinary response,” acting Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli told reporters earlier this week, according to BBC News.
“This is modern-day slavery,” he added.
“We urge the U.S. to respect facts, drop prejudice, stop political manipulation, and using Xinjiang affairs to undermine normal economic and trade cooperation between China and the U.S.,” ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing on Tuesday, according to Global Times. “China will continue to take all necessary measures to protect Chinese companies’ legal rights and interests.”
Wang added the U.S. has violated global trade rules and impacted global industry chains.
“It is naked acts of bullying. China firmly opposes this,” they said, adding the allegation of “forced labor” is “completely fabricated by certain U.S. and Western organizations and individuals and are not facts.”
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