China vows to retaliate if US bans import of solar panel material from Xinjiang
Beijing [China], June 22 (ANI): China on Tuesday vowed to retaliate if the United States bans the import of a critical solar panel material from Xinjiang.
According to a report in Politico, the Biden administration is mulling to ban the import of solar panel material--polysilicon-- from the region, where the Chinese government has been accused of committing genocide against the Uyghurs minority.
In a daily briefing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian said that the US must respect the facts, immediately stop deliberately disseminating false information and, based on this false information, exert undue pressure on Chinese companies, Sputnik reported.
The Chinese side will closely monitor the actions of the US and will take the necessary measures to protect its interests, Zhao Lijian said.
This comes amid calls to ban solar panel material exports from Xinjiang as investigations suggest that the global production of solar panels depends upon forced labour from Uyghurs Muslims.
For months, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has pushed Biden to impose import restrictions on polysilicon similar to ones the Trump administration placed on cotton, tomatoes and other products exported from Xinjiang, Politico reported.
Now, the White House is considering an effective region-wide ban on polysilicon from Xinjiang, according to the four sources in the industry and on Capitol Hill with knowledge of administration plans.
A study conducted by United Kingdom's Sheffield Hallam University said Chinese "labour transfers" in the northwest Xinjiang region are deployed in "an environment of unprecedented coercion, undergirded by the constant threat of re-education and internment".
Xinjiang produces about 45 percent of the world's supply of the key component, polysilicon, the research said.
China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
Beijing, on the other hand, has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party's brutal crackdown on the ethnic community.
Early this year, the US became the first country in the world to declare the Chinese actions in Xinjiang as "genocide". In February, both the Canadian and Dutch parliaments adopted motions recognising the Uyghur crisis as genocide. The latter became the first parliament in Europe to do so.
In April, the United Kingdom also declared China's ongoing crackdown in Xinjiang a "genocide". (ANI)