According to The New York Times, the Trump administration may announce today the banning of some, or even all, cotton products from China’s Xinjiang region. 

According to the report, the ban would be a show of support for the number of complaints and reports that have arisen lately, which point to the use of forced labor of Muslim minorities in labor camps in the area.

Xinjiang is a major source of materials including cotton, petrochemicals, and textiles, used by both Chinese factories and many of the world’s largest clothing brands producing in other countries.

The scope of the ban remains unclear; it is not yet known whether the ban would cover only cotton products shipped from Xinjiang or China, or whether the ban would potentially extend to items containing Xinjiang cotton but shipped from other parts of the world where the products are manufactured.

Beyond the scope of the measure, it is clear that any action to block imports of cotton and its derivatives to a greater or lesser extent could have major implications for the global textile industry.

The Trump administration has been working and taking action to condemn the human rights abuses being reported against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in general and in the Xinjiang area in particular.

According to Bloomberg, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued an import restriction order on Aug. 11, used to combat forced labor in global supply chains, against the Hero Vast Group for using “convict labor and forced labor to produce the garments it makes. It also issued similar orders against Meixin Hair Product Co. on June 17 and Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Co. on May 1.

Persecution of religious and spiritual minorities in the Chinese regime

There are increasing allegations that the CCP is committing atrocities against Uighurs and other minorities. According to the accusations, the CCP has arrested more than 1 million Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, keeping them in concentration camps and prisons where they are subjected to forced labor, forced to renounce their faith, their language, and are also physically abused.

An authoritative report was recently published documenting in detail the systematic and involuntary sterilization of Uighur women by the CCP. 

The German anthropologist Adrian Zenz is one of the leaders of the investigations and complaints against the CCP on behalf of the Uighur minorities. In his last report he detailed with abundant sources, that for decades there have been practices of the CCCP to slowly eradicate the Uighur and Turkish population in the area of East Turkistan. Since 2016 the practices of forced sterilization have increased considerably. 

Although persecution of Uighurs is quite widespread, this is not the most persecuted religious minority in China.

Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is an ancient spiritual discipline. Because of its effects on health and its spiritual responses, Falun Dafa became very popular when it was introduced to the public public in China between 1992 and 1999. By early 1999, there were an estimated 70 million to 100 million practitioners in China. 

On July 20, 1999, CCP leader Jiang Zemin ordered the eradication of Falun Dafa within three months. From that day forward, a brutal persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners began, which continues to this day even outside of China. 

The persecution of Falun Gong includes a program of ideological conversion and forced re-education and a variety of illegal coercive measures, including arbitrary detention, forced labor, physical torture, forced removal of organs, and death.