Xinjiang cotton found in Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss tops, researchers say

Researchers say they have found traces of Xinjiang cotton in shirts and T-shirts made by Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss, appearing to contradict the German clothing companies’ promises to revise their supply chains after allegations of widespread forced labour in the Chinese region. Recent reports have suggested more than half a million people from minority ethnic groups such as the Uyghurs have been coerced into picking cotton in Xinjiang, which provides more than 80% of China’s and a fifth of the global production of cotton. The US banned cotton imports…

Coalition accused of stalling ban on imports made using slave labour

The Morrison government has been accused of stalling action to prevent the importation of goods made using slave labour, as it insists it needs more time to consult business and upgrade IT systems. Despite repeatedly raising concerns about forced labour practices in China’s Xinjiang region, the government has cited “practical challenges” in a new report explaining why it cannot immediately take up recommendations of a bipartisan committee. Anti-slavery campaigners say they are “disillusioned that the ‘fair go’ values we hold as a people are not reflected in this government response”.…

China bags Winter Games gold and a rap for ‘cynical ploy’ of Uyghur torchbearer

Glory on the track. Growing criticism off it. China ended day one of these Winter Olympics by celebrating a thrilling first gold medal, while also finding itself facing growing condemnation from human rights groups after selecting a Uyghur to light the Olympic flame. The small number of fans in the Capital Indoor Stadium because of Covid-19 regulations certainly made themselves heard as China’s mixed relay quartet held off Italy by the width of a blade in a dramatic short-track speedskating final. Afterwards, Wu Dajing, the country’s most famous active winter…

China hires western TikTokers to polish its image during 2022 Winter Olympics

An army of western social media influencers, each with hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok, Instagram or Twitch, is set to spread positive stories about China throughout next month’s Winter Olympics. Concerned about the international backlash against the Beijing Games amid a wave of diplomatic boycotts, the government has hired western PR professionals to spread an alternative narrative through social media. In November, as Joe Biden contemplated a diplomatic boycott, Vipinder Jaswal, a US-based Newsweek contributor and former Fox News and HSBC executive, signed a $300,000 contract with China’s…

Sport is indifferent to the Uyghur genocide: the Warriors investor said the quiet part out loud

The US state department has described the Uyghur human rights issue as a genocide and the largest-scale detention of an ethno-religious community since the second world war. And yet to hear one leading professional sports owner tell it, “nobody cares”. Chamath Palihapitiya, a billionaire investor in the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, used the most recent episode of his All-In podcast to weigh in, dismissing the Uyghur crisis as “a very hard, ugly truth” that’s “below my line”. When his co-host David Sacks countered that the Uyghurs were a great, if…

No friendly politician is too obscure for insecure China, not even Barry Gardiner | Nick Cohen

The Chinese Communist party appears utterly deluded. Hasn’t it learned in its 100-year history that some politicians aren’t worth buying? Wasting its money, or rather the money of the subjugated Chinese people, on Barry Gardiner, of all MPs, seems more silly than sinister. Why bother? If you’ve never heard of him, Gardiner is an unremarkable Corbynista, who has continued the far left’s tradition of excusing anti-western dictatorships. The Labour MP took £420,000, a large whack even by the lax standards of Westminster, from Christine Ching Kui Lee, an influence-peddler MI5…

Increased repression and violence a sign of weakness, says Human Rights Watch

Increasingly repressive and violent acts against civilian protests by autocratic leaders and military regimes around the world are signs of their desperation and weakening grip on power, Human Rights Watch says in its annual assessment of human rights across the globe. In its world report 2022, the human rights organisation said autocratic leaders faced a significant backlash in 2021, with millions of people risking their lives to take to the streets to challenge regimes’ authority and demand democracy. Human Rights Watch also said the emergence of opposition parties willing to…

US sanctioned China’s top facial recognition firm over Uyghur concerns. It still raised millions

SenseTime, China’s largest facial recognition startup, has come under increasing scrutiny by the US government for its alleged role in the surveillance of Uyghurs. Over the past two years, the US has used sanctions to escalate pressure on the company, first by adding it to the government’s entity list, which restricts US exports to the company, and this December, by banning US investment in the firm. But those sanctions have thus far had little effect on the company’s bottom line. SenseTime recently made its debut on the Hong Kong stock…

China replaces Xinjiang party boss associated with Uyghur crackdown

China has replaced the Communist party official widely associated with a security crackdown targeting ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in the far-west region of Xinjiang. The state-owned Xinhua news agency said in a brief announcement on Saturday that Ma Xingrui, the governor of the coastal economic powerhouse Guangdong province since 2017, had replaced Chen Quanguo as the Xinjiang party chief. Chen will move to another role. The change came amid a wider reshuffle ahead of next year’s 20th party congress, scheduled for the autumn. It is not clear whether the…

Intel faces backlash in China after banning products and labour from Xinjiang

Intel, the US computer chip maker, is facing a backlash from China after telling its suppliers not to source products or labour from the region of Xinjiang. Intel said it had been “required to ensure that its supply chain does not use any labour or source goods or services” from Xinjiang in accordance with restrictions imposed by “multiple governments”. The United States has accused China of widespread human rights abuses in the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang, including forced labour. Beijing has denied the claims. The Global Times, a tabloid…

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