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China Buying Xinjiang Cotton to Offset U.S. Ban

A worker packages spools of cotton yarn at a textile manufacturing plant, as seen during a government organized trip for foreign journalists last year, in Aksu in western China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP File)
A worker packages spools of cotton yarn at a textile manufacturing plant, as seen during a government organized trip for foreign journalists last year, in Aksu in western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP File)

China is purchasing loads of cotton from its Xinjiang province amid a ban from the United States on products made in the region, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday.

According to a Friday statement by the government, the purchase will include between 300,000 and 500,000 tons of cotton from mills in the region.

The prohibition from the U.S. on Xinjiang exports was passed last year and is in response to reports of forced labor of Uyghur Muslims in the province. The law took effect last June 21 and appears to already be costing the Chinese Communist Party substantially.

Uyghurs are the native population of the region, which they call East Turkistan. They have undergone a cultural and ethnic genocide by the Chinese Communist Party since around 2014, according to Human Rights Watch.

Last year, a tribunal led by human rights experts and legal scholars determined that the Chinese government’s actions in the Xinjiang province toward the native population were ”beyond a reasonable doubt” examples of genocide.

”Pregnant women, in detention centres and outside, were forced to have abortions even at the very last stages of pregnancy. In the course of attempted abortions babies were sometimes born alive but then killed,” the judgment read.

”A systematic programme of birth control measures had been established forcing women to endure removal against their will of wombs and to undergo effective sterilization by means of IUDs that were only removeable by surgical means.”

Despite the international calls to treat the Chinese government as a pariah for its actions, the country hosted the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in its capital, Beijing.

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