BEIJING (AP) — China on Thursday demanded Washington drop a ban on cotton and tomato imports from its Muslim northwest around complaints they are produced by forced labor, which a spokesman dismissed as the “lie of the century.”
The ban announced Wednesday adds to a flurry of sanctions imposed by the Trump administration in opposition to Chinese officials, organizations and merchandise above human legal rights, safety and other issues.
Its business affect is unclear, but Beijing is sensitive to criticism about the Xinjiang location, the place much more than 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities have been confined in detention camps. Beijing denies mistreating them and claims it is striving to market economic development and stamp out radicalism.
“The so-identified as compelled labor problem is a ‘lie of the century’ fabricated out of slim air,” claimed a international ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian. He accused the United States of seeking to harm Chinese providers and the country’s growth.
“We urge the U.S. aspect to respect info, promptly withdraw its improper decision and quit interfering in China’s inside affairs under the pretext of Xinjiang-linked problems,” Zhao reported.
Zhao explained Beijing would “safeguard its interests and dignity” but gave no sign of achievable retaliation. The government has built similar statements adhering to earlier U.S. sanctions but took no motion.
Xinjiang is a important cotton provider to apparel producers in China as very well as Bangladesh, Vietnam and other international locations. That will make the U.S. ban a potential problem for stores or apparel manufacturers that will be necessary to guarantee their goods are no cost of Xinjiang cotton.
Zhao warned the ban would disrupt these worldwide supply chains.
“It is harmful to the interests of enterprises and people of all nations, which includes the United States by itself,” he said.
Xinjiang also is a important provider of tomato paste to international food stuff manufacturers, but its main markets are Europe and the Center East.
The United States imported about $9 billion worth of cotton items immediately from China final 12 months, according to the U.S. governing administration.
Earlier, Washington imposed a ban in December on imports from a corporation that controls about one particular-third of Xinjiang cotton output. The federal government mentioned it has stopped shipments worthy of about $2 million. Canada and Britain also have announced options to block imports of goods produced by pressured labor.
The Trump administration has blocked imports from person companies linked to forced labor in Xinjiang. It has imposed travel bans and other sanctions on Communist Bash officers with outstanding roles in the marketing campaign.