Xinjiang: US sanctions, a total disregard to the multilateral system- CCS
The Director of the Centre for China Studies (CCS), Charles Onunaiju has shown his disapproval over the recent signing of the Uyghurs Forced Labour Prevention Act by the United States President, Joe Buden.
Onuniaju noted that it is a violation of the multilateral trade agreement among nations.
The Director on Monday in Abuja said that the actions by the US government to sanction the Xinjiang autonomous region are tantamount to the growth of Africa’s economy.
According to him, the allegations leveled against the Xinjiang autonomous region of China are unfounded noting that the highly industrialised region has been able to take about 1.4 billion people out of poverty.
He stated that the points raised by the US on the use of forced labour are baseless as the region consists of many mini-groups like Uyghurs who are predominantly Muslims and are living independently without being oppressed.
He recalled that the President of China, Xi Jinping, alongside the central committee that emerged from the 18 National Congress of the Communist Party of China, has strictly adhered to the Human Rights Act and advocated for the freedom of association.
The CCS Director said that the United States needs to repeal the Act signed by its President, Joe Biden, on 23 December, 2021 noting that there are world standard organisations like the United Nations (UN), International Labour Organisation (ILO) and International Human Rights Council (IHRC) that can handle these allegations.
He added that the US would not have bypassed these organisations that are well equipped to handle the issues of this magnitude to abruptly impose a sanction to disrupt the flow of goods from this region vis-a-vis the global supply chain.
However, he called on the African governments to resist the move made by the United States to disrupt the international supply chain while joining the campaign against the sanction imposed on the Xinjiang autonomous region of China.
In his statement to newsmen, “the Xinjiang autonomous region is a special region in China where you have several minority groups, including the Uyghurs people who are mostly Muslims.
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“The United States has been alleging that the Chinese authority is forcing the Uyghurs people into labour and this flies in the face of the reality.
“And the reality is that 1.4 billion people have been taken out of poverty including the Uighurs people and the implication of this is that enterprises in Xinjiang have been blacklisted.
“The implication is that the global supply chain to which these companies are integrated will be disrupted by this action and this supply chain run around the world, including Africa and Nigeria.
“The disruption of the global supply chain by targeting these enterprises will have some effects on Africa, on Nigeria. But the implication is that it is going to stoke international tension.
“We say the situation in Xinjiang is far from the truth. These people have access to quality jobs, they have almost created jobs for everybody, people have the rights to practice their religion.
“In Xinjiang, the Uighurs Muslims have 25,000 mosques in its region more than you have in the whole of the United States. It is not true that they are forced to become communists,” Onunaiju said.
“If you develop a tradition of one country interfering in other people’s affairs, today it is China, tomorrow it can be Nigeria, it can be Ghana, it can be any other country in the world.
“And that is not healthy for the emerging multilateral system, it is not healthy that nations should bypass the main centre-piece of international intercourse which is the United Nations to take unilateral measures.
“The United States has enough on its hands, it should address the question of native Americans who are living in reserved areas, these are challenges.
“We have seen the George Floyd killing, the continuous killings of black people, the continuous marginalisation of black people,” he said.
Meanwhile, China in retaliation to the United States action through tit-for-tat sanctions, has barred four members of the United States government’s Commission on International Religious Freedom from entering Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau with their assets in the country, if any, frozen.