WASHINGTON – Four companies and a manufacturing facility in northwestern China were blocked Monday from shipping their products to the U.S. because of their suspected reliance on forced labor from people detained as part of a massive campaign against ethnic minorities in the region.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued orders freezing imports from companies that produce cotton, clothing and computer parts in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, where authorities have detained more than 1 million people in detention camps as part of the crackdown.
CBP also halted imports of hair products made at a manufacturing facility where authorities believe Uighurs and other ethnic minorities are forced to work.
Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, dismissed the notion that the facility is a “vocational” center as has been portrayed by Chinese authorities.
“It is a concentration camp, a place where religious and ethnic minorities are subject to abuse and forced to work in heinous conditions with no recourse and no freedom,” Cuccinelli said. “This is modern day slavery.”
The treatment of people in Xinjiang has become a source of friction between the U.S. and China amid broader tensions over trade and the response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Trump administration has over the past year issued
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