One of our world’s best cotton producers is the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region of China, with exceptional quality of its fabric. Technological advancement these years has allowed machines to do most of the manual labor a couple of decades ago and resulted in sustainable growth, efficacious farming techniques, a surge in production, efficient agriculture mechanism, and diversifying regional and integrational networks.
Disregarding all these facts, the United States signed into law the so-called “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act’’ as part of its negative rhetoric and propaganda to use Xinjiang to contain China’s rising global influence. The law bans the import in various sectors, including cotton, tomato, garment supplies and solar panels from Xinjiang due to the allegation of forced labor and human rights violation. The local Muslim community in Xinjiang is being portrayed as a subject of abysmal poverty, acute injustice, genocide, and grave oppression.
However, all the allegations run against facts and amount to US-backed political and economic crusades against the rising Chinese economy. The act had been criticized by many big companies doing business in the area.
The propaganda against the Chinese cotton industry is an orchestrated attack fueled by Western interests against China’s rising influence. It has been seen that the US is trying to balkanize China so that they supposedly create civil unrest among its Muslim population, harm the unity, and cause disruptions within the BRI region. The hostile rhetoric and vicious tactics clearly demonstrate the US imperialistic approach.
The cotton and solar panel bans will outrightly disrupt the global supply chain because a major portion of both products has been imported from China. One should not forget the history of the US having a track record of Muslim genocides worldwide. Imposing sanctions on Chinese products in the name of human rights violation is just a false façade. The groundless sanctions and allegations aimed at maintaining US fading global hegemony.
Contrary to the claim of US of protecting human rights, their act is attempting to deprive workers and farmers in Xinjiang of their very right to pursue better lives
Contrary to their claim of protecting human rights, the US act is attempting to deprive workers and farmers in Xinjiang of their very right to pursue better lives. Worse, fabricating false narrative to disengage and restrict Xinjiang’s cotton supply would be detrimental for the cotton availability in the international market.
It is not the first time that the USA has shown belligerence toward China. Vaccine conspiracy, G-7 hostile plan, B3W, and politicizing Beijing Olympics 2022 are all clear manifestations of negative US propaganda to sabotage Chinese global outreach and global peace. The US internal problems such as entrenched structural failures, social polarization, dysfunctional democratic model, the rising Islamophobia, and racial discrimination and prejudices only make the White House more brazen.
China is a social state that works for the well-being of its people, including ethnic minorities. The dynamic leadership of the Communist Party of China has taken robust initiatives to enhance the living standard of famers and workers of more than 20 ethnic groups in the Xinjiang region.
Being an international expert and scholar, I have often visited China, especially the Xinjiang region. During my visits, I have witnessed that China has eliminated poverty and maintained sustainable development in Xinjiang. The employment level is stable and a large number of job opportunities have been created by the startling policies of Chinese leadership. The people are enjoying happy and prosperous lives protected by the law. The modern infrastructure development along with technological advancement has potentially transformed the region. There is religious freedom and unity among people.
No doubt, the US is used to playing tricks of sanctions and political manipulation at a frantic pace against China. The US government has a policy to weaponize human rights concerns against countries like China to undermine them strategically while ignoring similar violations committed by its own forces and allies.
Looking at the United States’ past actions against Muslim states, it is hard to comprehend that the government actually cares about the Uygurs in China but is more focused on undermining its chief global rival.
In contrast, China has not only provided Muslim countries across the world with development opportunities, donated vaccines, and facilitated them with medical aid, pharmaceutical supply, expertise and training.
Moreover, China's cotton industry has become an irreplaceable industrial link in the global cotton textile industry because of its quality raw materials, agriculture productivity, skilled workforce, efficient supply chain, and extended industrial chain. Therefore, the disruption of China's cotton industry is tantamount to disrupting the global cotton industry chain.
The US should be ashamed for its own wrongdoings and human rights abuse record. As the Chinese saying goes, ‘’He who perpetrates many injustices is doomed to destruction’’. Thus, the US must end its belligerence toward China and uplift the sanctions for the sustainability of the global cotton supply chain.
The author is Executive Director, Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad, Pakistan.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.