If Biden wants to crack down on forced labor in Xinjiang, he’s going to need help

An image widely shared on social media that purportedly shows a group of detainees in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region's (XUAR) Korla (Kuerle) city, March 2020.

By Marc Bain
Nov 19, 2020

When Joe Biden is sworn in as president of the US on Jan. 20, he will inherit a number of thorny problems. Among them is how to confront China about its systematic oppression of the predominately Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority in the country’s northwest Xinjiang region. The growing consensus is it constitutes genocide, a label Biden himself has applied to the situation.

The US has taken steps to address the situation under current president Donald Trump, sanctioning Chinese firms and drafting the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which would block certain goods made in Xinjiang from entering the country. The bill passed in the House in September but would still need passage in the Senate and Biden’s signature  before it becomes law.

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