Biden Finally Goes After China?

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Will Biden actually step up?

In a move to punish China’s human rights violations, President Joe Biden signed a bill on Thursday (December 23), that would ban imports to the U.S. from the Xinjiang region.

China has been accused of crimes against humanity for the country’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslims ethnic groups. Some human rights groups believe millions of Uyghurs have been detained by China in “re-education camps.” However, not much information confirms this. There is, however, evidence that Uyghurs –– who are predominantly in the Xinjiang region –– have been used in forced labor, with women detailing how they have been sterilized forcibly.

The new legislation, which excludes instances where companies can provide proof material and goods have not been produced using forced labor, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act bans importing goods from the Xinjiang region.

This move follows the Biden administration restricting exports from certain China-based biotechnology companies, whose products have allegedly been used by China to carry out human rights abuses.

In a statement made last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the Administration would be working closely with Congress to implement the bill in a bid to ensure U.S. global supply chains do not make use of forced labor. Furthermore, the bill would work “to on-shore and third-shore key supply chains, including semiconductors and clean energy.”

Also on Thursday, Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Florida), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, applauded the legislation, saying it was “the most important and impactful action” the U.S has taken in its bid to hold the CCP accountable for slave labor.

He continued by saying the bill would change the United State’s relationship with Beijing while ensuring Americans would no longer unknowingly support China’s slave labor practices. He concluded his statements by saying he looked “forward to working with the Biden administration” to ensure the bill would be “implemented correctly and enforced properly.”