By Mary Rose Corkery
Daily Caller News Foundation
The U.S. should find different personal protective equipment (PPE) production sources rather than depending upon Chinese companies that reportedly use “forced labor,” experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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State media reports and public records indicate at least 17 Chinese companies in Xinjiang that make “medical grade protective equipment” use a Chinese-government sponsored program that experts say coerces people, including Uighur Muslims and other minorities, into working involuntarily, The New York Times reported Sunday.
A medical supply of face masks imported to Georgia were from a factory in the Hubei province in China, where more than 100 Uighur Muslims were sent to work, the NYT reported.
Senior Policy Analyst and Human Rights Expert Olivia Enos and Senior Policy Analyst and Economist Riley Walters from the Heritage Foundation explained that PPE independence from Xinjiang would be more difficult than transferring masks and apparel production to other parts of China or other countries. Most Uighur Muslims are from Xinjiang, the NYT reported.
“It wouldn’t be hard to shift production from the Xinjiang area to either voluntary workers somewhere else within China or to other countries in the long-run,” Enos and Walters told the DCNF.
“Generally, products (masks, apparel) that use forced labor have alternative sourcing scattered across southeast Asia. PPE is a different story, however, given the spike in demand we’re continuing to see,” Enos and Walters wrote.
“Even as the U.S. and other countries ramp up domestic production, the U.S. is still having to import more than $3 billion worth of disposable masks a month from China, when in January we were barely importing $200 million worth,” Enos and Walters continued.
“It could very well be the case that by the time the U.S. builds or finds enough alternative sources for PPE from China, we may have a vaccine for COVID,” Enos and Walters said.
Experts have accused the Chinese government of coercing Uighur Muslims into involuntary factory work, according to the AP.
The AP investigation further found that the Chinese government is “committing demographic genocide” on its Uighur Muslim population through forced abortions, birth control, and detention imprisonment.
This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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