Since the European Union (EU) signed an investment agreement with the Chinese Communist Party in December, trade between European countries and the controversial Xinjiang area, where allegations indicate that millions of Uighurs are persecuted and locked up in forced labor camps, has been growing steadily.
All member countries of the EU have a huge trade with industries in the Xinjiang area, mainly in products related to the textile and tomato industries.
Trade activity between the two sectors has increased considerably after the pact signed between the EU and the Chinese Communist Party in December 2020, the South China Morning Post reported.
The EU currently has no bans or sanctions directly linked to Xinjiang, but is under pressure to act amid a barrage of criticism from human rights advocates against the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), while evidence of human rights abuses in Xinjiang continue to mount.
Although the agreement includes a clause stating that the Chinese communist regime must move forward with solutions to complaints about forced labor in its territory, following the guidelines of the International Labor Organization, critics have pointed to them as being too weak.
However, according to the official website of the International Labor Organization, China has been a member since 2001, so it is not clear how European leaders trust or think that it will change something it has been practicing for decades, considering that the CCP is part of the very organization that should denounce and control it.
The country that benefited the most in its trade relationship with the CCP and specifically with the Xinjiang area during 2020 was Germany. Shipments of German-made parts and accessories for textile machinery to Xinjiang reached a record $41.2 million last year, a staggering 2,763% increase from 2017, when detailed records began. The second country was Switzerland. In both cases, sales and projections continued to rise through 2021.
Xinjiang produces 85% of the Chinese communist regime’s cotton and 20% of the world’s total. The industry has been heavily implicated in alleged human rights abuses in the autonomous region, which is home to large populations of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.
Xinjiang’s cotton monopoly, along with the availability of slave labor, coupled with European technological machinery have formed a grand alliance that only seems to look at business profitability, leaving aside ethical values, morals, and appreciation for life.
European Union leaders signed the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with the CCP in December despite warnings from parliamentarians, at a time when the CCP is under intense scrutiny for its role in the pandemic and its record of human rights violations.
In an interview with Breitbart, Hong Kong Watch founder Benedict Rogers expressed his disappointment with EU leaders for their lack of ethics in doing business.
“Just at a time when people are finally waking up to the dangers of the CCP, after a year in which the whole world has suffered a global pandemic caused, at least in part, by the CCP’s mendacity and repression, and at a time when increasingly experts are accusing the CCP of committing genocide against the Uighurs, now is not the time to be doing such deals, especially without any human rights safeguards in them,” Rogers said.