Washington [US], January 29 (ANI): US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is scrutinizing imports from China's Xinjiang region under a recent law that aims to block goods made with Uyghur forced labour. Shipments of solar panels and related components have been the most commonly flagged product to date, Fox Business reported.
"Between June 2022 and January 2023, 2,692 shipments were identified as potentially violating the terms of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act," a spokesperson for CBP told FOX Business.
"These shipments were valued at USD 817,466,574," the spokesperson added.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), after passing by both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support, was signed into law by President Biden in December 2021. The Act took effect in June 2022.
Under the UFLPA, there is a rebuttable presumption that any goods made in Xinjiang, including supply chain components sent elsewhere for further assembly, are the product of forced labour and subject to import restrictions, according to a Fox Business report.
The Fox Business report says that nearly half of the shipments held for inspection by CBP since the UFLPA came into effect were solar panels or related components that are used by the solar energy industry. About one-sixth of the goods held for inspection were categorized as apparel products. Roughly one-third of shipments flagged for inspection were released after inspection.
The US-based magazine Foreign Affairs recently reported that many of the Uyghur camps in China's Xinjiang have been converted into formal prisons and the detainees have been given lengthy prison sentences.
According to Foreign Affairs, many detainees have been transferred from camps to factories in Xinjiang or elsewhere in the country. Some Uyghur families abroad report that their relatives are back home but under house arrest.
Under the guise of a poverty alleviation campaign, Beijing has been forcing tens of thousands of rural Uyghurs out of their villages and into factories.
The Communist Party of China (CCP) criticised and restricted the use of the Uyghur language, prohibited Islamic practices; razed mosques, shrines, and cemeteries; rewrote history to deny the longevity of Uyghur culture and its distinctiveness from Chinese culture; and excised Indigenous literature from textbooks. (ANI)