US fabricating news of forced labour in Xinjiang, says China

BEIJING: Lawmakers in the United States are fabricating news of forced labour in the northwestern Xinjiang region, China said on Thursday.

The development comes after Washington banned imports of cotton produced by the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) alleged to use the forced labour of detained Uighur Muslims

Speaking at a daily media briefing, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the US practices undermined market principles and would deprive people of jobs.

An estimated one million mostly Muslim ethnic minorities have allegedly been held in internment camps in Xinjiang. After initially denying their existence, Beijing cast the facilities as “vocational education centres” where “students” learn Mandarin and job skills in an effort to steer them away from religious extremism, terrorism and separatism.

Officially, the Chinese government says it is transferring “surplus” Xinjiang labour to other regions in the name of poverty alleviation.

This article originally appeared on The News International