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Western Companies Profit from East Turkistani Forced Labor

Originally published by East Turkistan Government-in-Exile

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) recently published a report highlighting its findings on the forced transfer of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples of East Turkistan into Chinese provinces for the purpose of forced labor. In it’s report the ASPI found that some 83, mostly western, companies were involved in business with companies that were known to be using East Turkistani forced labor to produce its products which are then exported and sold across the globe.

ASPI’s research has identified 83 foreign and Chinese companies directly or indirectly benefiting from the use of Uyghur workers outside East Turkistan (“Xinjiang”) through potentially abusive labour transfer programs: Abercrombie & Fitch, Acer, Adidas, Alstom, Amazon, Apple, ASUS, BAIC Motor, BMW, Bombardier, Bosch, BYD, Calvin Klein, Candy, Carter’s, Cerruti 1881, Changan Automobile, Cisco, CRRC, Dell, Electrolux, Fila, Founder Group, GAC Group (automobiles), Gap, Geely Auto, General Electric, General Motors, Google, H&M, Haier, Hart Schaffner Marx, Hisense, Hitachi, HP, HTC, Huawei, iFlyTek, Jack & Jones, Jaguar, Japan Display Inc., L.L.Bean, Lacoste, Land Rover, Lenovo, LG, Li-Ning, Marks & Spencer, Mayor, Meizu, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Mitsumi, Nike, Nintendo, Nokia, The North Face, Oculus, Oppo, Panasonic, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, Roewe, SAIC Motor, Samsung, SGMW, Sharp, Siemens, Skechers, Sony, TDK, Tommy Hilfiger, Toshiba, Tsinghua Tongfang, Uniqlo, Victoria’s Secret, Vivo, Volkswagen, Xiaomi, Zara, Zegna, ZTE. Some brands are linked with multiple factories.

For decades, China has been subjecting Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan, most recently with the building of its so-called “vocational training center” concentration camps and labor camps, millions of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples were subject to forced labor. In addition, to mass interment, hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and other Turkic people were forcibly transferred out of East Turkistan and into Chinese provinces in what is no doubt state sponsored human trafficking and a clear violation of the international Trafficking Protocol. 

In 2006, China announced its 11th five year plan in which some 400,000 mostly young Uyghur women (ages 16-25) were forcibly transferred out of East Turkistan and into Chinese provinces for forced labor between 2006 and 2010. In June 2009, several hundred young Uyghur workers in a Chinese toy factory in Shaoguan, Guangdong Province were brutally massacred by Chinese workers which in turn led to the July 5th 2009 protests in Urumchi and other parts of East Turkistan. 

The July 5th 2009 protests were brutally suppressed by Chinese security forces and thousands of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples were massacred with tens of thousands forcibly disappeared. Due to the lack of international condemnation of China’s brutal atrocities in East Turkistan, the Chinese government was emboldened to continue its brutal campaign of colonization and genocide to where the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples are literally striving to survive. 

At the time of this writing, over 3 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples are in concentration camps, prisons, and labor camps across occupied East Turkistan. Some 500,000 Uyghur and other Turkic children have been forcibly separated from their families and sent to state-run orphanages and boarding schools. Tens of thousands of young Turkic women have been forced to marry Han Chinese men. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, many Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples have been prevented from leaving their homes and left to starve while hundreds of thousands of young Uyghur and Turkic men and women are being transferred to China to work as slave labor.

The oppression in East Turkistan is nothing new for its people, since China invaded and occupied East Turkistan in December 1949, it has been waging a campaign of colonization and genocide which continues to this day. The only way to truly safeguard and ensure East Turkistan and its people’s freedoms, human rights, and survival is by restoring East Turkistan’s independence. Thus, as the representatives of East Turkistan and its people, we call on the international community to TAKE ACTION and put an end to the China’s 70 years of colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkistan. We call on western companies to not be complicit in China’s brutal campaign of colonization and genocide of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples of East Turkistan.