Banned Xinjiang Goods May Be Entering The US

Chinese goods manufactured by a Muslim-linked organization and detention center in Xinjiang may have gone to shops with US consumers, according to a report released Tuesday.

Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps is a large government and military organization interested in many industries, as well as runs some of the largest prisons closed in prisons where minority Muslims are imprisoned. BuzzFeed News found last month that China had created an opportunity for imprisonment more than 1 million people in the area at any time.

The Chinese government has set up blockade in the past as a way to improve employment or education in order to avoid potential disruptions. But the US and other governments have said killings. July last US imposed sanctions organization, known as XPCC or thunder in Chinese, along with two other high-ranking officials, point to “their solidarity with the gross violation of the human rights of the minority ethnic groups in Xinjiang.”

The move made it illegal for anyone in the US to do business with the XPCC and made it difficult for the agency to work with other countries. But a new study from Washington, DC-based nonprofit shows that many XPCC agencies continue to ship goods around the world. The report found that some of the products sold, such as tomato sauce or cloth, were exported to the United States and to other countries such as Australia, Canada, and Germany.

C4ADS, a global non-profit organization, has identified 2,923 XPCC organizations and used business logs, trade notes, and posters on Chinese cotton companies to track their business activity.

The group found that the Russian company Grand Star manufactures tomato products and sauces under the name Kubanochka. Two XPCC corporations, Xinjiang Guannong Tomato Products and Xinjiang Wanda Co., have shipped Grand Star more than 150 supplies of tomato.

The report exposed companies buying goods in Xinjiang and exporting goods, but commercials do not indicate whether the actual banned items arrived in the US. So it is difficult to know if the same tomatoes that were shipped from Xinjiang were shipped to the US, but it is clear that Kubanochka tomato products are sold in the United States, including in international grocery stores. The Grand Star did not respond to a request for comment.

C4ADS also found that about three XPCC companies sell XPCC cotton even though they are part of the Better Cotton Initiative, an internationally recognized company program that claims to promote the sale of cotton. The Better Cotton Initiative declined to comment on whether the company’s activities violated its principles.

One of the three corporations, Xiamen ITG, is a grocery management company worth about 14 billion yuan. According to Panjiva’s state-of-the-art business information, Xiamen ITG and its agencies have provided small and large North American retailers, including Walmart Canada and the Ohio company MMI Textiles, a military service company that has also provided self-defense equipment to hospitals. Xiamen ITG exported two polyester and cotton fabrics to MMI in 2019, a trade show, before the US began banning Xinjiang cotton. Asked about the referral, MMI Textiles operations manager Nick Rivera said it had stopped working with the company in January 2019 and that MMI “had a hard time finding out more about your application.”

Established in 1954 – five years after the ruling Communist Party took power in China – the XPCC focused on re-establishing Han Chinese immigrants in the Xinjiang region, home to the historic Uyghurs and other Muslim sects. About 86% of the current XPCC members are Han Chinese, according to research published by Yajun Bao at Oxford University. The XPCC is so strong that Bao and other experts have stated that it has the same responsibilities as the Xinjiang government, with interests ranging from cotton farming to television and radio. XPCC has thousands of units and makes up 21% of the production in the region, including manufacturing.

“XPCC is responsible for the mass closure and forced labor in Xinjiang, and plays a major role in the economy,” said Irina Bukharin, senior researcher on the C4ADS report. “It has also been accepted, so understanding how it relates to the global economy is crucial to understanding how the sanctions and other mechanisms for enforcing the region are declining.”

US Customs and Border Protection in January said it would build all tomato and cotton items shipped from Xinjiang. C4ADS found, however, that all types of items could be shipped to the United States including across third countries. XPCC photos is the largest producer of cotton in China and is a major component of the tomato industry.

Blocking shipments from this region is not always easy, in part because XPCC companies often sell their goods through central companies in some parts of China or other countries. Ana Hinojosa, head of Customs and Border Protection, told BuzzFeed News that the problem of obtaining corporate information in Xinjiang posed a challenge for US regulators.

“XPCC is a corporate image. It has many organizations, and they move and change frequently,” said Hinojosa, CBP’s chief legal officer. “It’s a difficult task to follow.”

“I think there are some things coming to the US that we don’t know are connected to the XPCC,” he added.

XPCC did not respond to a request for comment.

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