China strongly reacts over US lawmakers claims against Xinjiang region
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.
According to official news agency Xinhua, more than 25,000 workers from Xinjiang were slated to be transferred "inland" in 2019 China´s foreign ministry and the Xinjiang government did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the report.