China Vows to Take Action Against U.S. Sanctions of its Imports

Unless China can prove their imports were made without forced labor, a U.S. law barring such imports will stand.

Chinese spokesman, Wang Wenbin, said the measure approved Thursday “indicates that the U.S. has no scruples about smearing China by every means. . .The relevant actions seriously undermine the principles of market economy and international economic and trade rules, and seriously damage the interests of Chinese institutions and enterprises,” Wang told reporters at a daily briefing.

China says it will take all necessary measures to safeguard its institutions and enterprises. It strongly urges the U.S. to, without delay, correct its mistake.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the law after overcoming initial hesitation from the White House and what supporters said was opposition from corporations. He also announced new sanctions Thursday that target several Chinese biotech and surveillance companies, a leading drone manufacturer and government entities for their actions in Xinjiang.

The law is the latest U.S. penalty over China’s alleged systemic and widespread abuse of ethnic and religious minorities in its far western region, especially Xinjiang’s predominantly Muslim Uyghurs.

U.S. government agencies are required to expand monitoring for forced labor by China’s ethnic minorities. The new law establishes a presumption that goods from Xinjiang are made with forced labor, so businesses wanting to import goods from there must prove no involvement of forced labor, including by workers transferred from Xinjiang.

China has denounced all such claims as the “lie of the century” even though numerous independent investigations have revealed finding forced sterilization and large detention camps where many Uyghurs allegedly are compelled to work in factories.

“The U.S. government is trying to strangle the economy of Xinjiang through its industrial and supply chains under the false pretexts of ‘forced labor’ and ‘violations of human rights,’ the official Xinhua News Agency said Friday, citing a report by the Institute for Central Asia Studies under Lanzhou University in northwestern Gansu province.