Some human rights and trade groups in the United States have obviously gone too far in criticizing Tesla for its New Year's Eve announcement that it had opened a showroom in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, claiming the move shows the electric car manufacturer was "supporting genocide" there. They are demanding that Tesla and its chairman, Elon Musk, close the showroom.
The demand made on Tuesday is egregious and unreasonable, because it is based on nothing but lies and stories fabricated by some extremists and anti-China elements engaged in a smear campaign against the country.
There has never been evidence supporting the allegations of "genocide" or "forced labor" in Xinjiang, yet politicians in Washington have still used these accusations to interfere in China's internal affairs, for example, by passing the so-called Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in December to ban imports of goods made in the region.
Those pointing an accusing finger at Tesla are ignorant of basic market rules, and have violated the bottom line of business by trying to hijack Tesla's business operations to instead serve their political ends
Now they are trying to coerce the "private sector" to participate in their campaign in a bid to give the lies credence. "The international community, including the public and private sectors, cannot look the other way when it comes to what is taking place in Xinjiang," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Tesla has entered China because it is the world's largest new energy vehicle market－with more than 2.6 million units sold in the first 11 months of 2021-and because the Chinese market is business friendly. Musk was "astounded" by the efficiency displayed in the construction of Tesla's Shanghai factory, which was completed within 10 months, prompting him to say "I really think China is the future". Not to mention the many supportive measures that the government has rolled out for new energy vehicles such as tax exemptions and subsidies.
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All this explains Tesla's success in China, where its factory currently makes up to 500,000 vehicles a year, turning the country into a major global export hub for the US electric carmaker. Indeed, China has the potential and the market to enable Tesla to turn its vision－to create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world's transition to electric vehicles－into reality.
Those pointing an accusing finger at Tesla are ignorant of basic market rules, and have violated the bottom line of business by trying to hijack Tesla's business operations to instead serve their political ends. They should focus more on rights abuses in the US, such as police brutality against black people, rather than trying to disrupt a company's normal business operations. Failure to do so will only prove they are hypocrites and the high moral ground on which they seek to position themselves is really a castle made of sand.