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Guest essay by Eric Worrall

An investigative report by the Chinese Communist backed Global Times say they have confirmed there is no Uyghur slavery in Xinjiang. Company executives claim workers are so happy with conditions, including graduates of Xinjiang’s barbed wire fence and guard tower protected vocational training centres, the company only has a 3% turnover of staff.

GT investigates: automation in Xinjiang PV factories, cotton farms debunks ‘forced labor’ claim

By Zhang Dan, Zhao Juecheng and Li Jieyi in Xinjiang,
Published: 2021/04/29 01:00:00

At the factory gate of Xinjiang Daqo, a raw materials producer for global solar panels in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a security guard dressed in a camouflage coat greets visitors. Walking into the facility, tall rectifying columns, continuous pipelines and numerous robot arms are ubiquitous, while workers in blue uniforms working with their hands are not common. 

To any visitor, the first impression would be that this is a highly automated, efficient modern factory on par with world class facilities in Chinese manufacturing hubs and those in the US and Europe. 

However, blinded by politics and bias, some Western politicians, business competitors and journalists, despite never set foot inside the factory, claimed that Daqo is one of the companies in Xinjiang that use “forced labor” to produce products that should be banned. 

In their lies, the security guard dressed in camouflage coat is military personnel who keeps watch on the “forced workers”, who dress in uniforms, which have been taken as proof of “forced labor” – never mind that uniforms are common in factories not just in China but across the world, and that camouflage coats are not just a common dress for ordinary people but have also become popular among some youngsters around the world.

Outraged and furious with these groundless accusations, a manage at Xinjiang Daqo asked rhetorically: “If they must impose the phrase [‘forced labor’] on us, does it mean we are forcing these machines to work?” 

Yu Zhenghai, a Hui minority, is a deputy head working in the company’s machine maintenance department. “I have no idea how they could come up with the label ‘forced labor,’ which is very ridiculous in my opinion,” Yu said.

The employee turnover rate is less than 3 percent each year, and any worker is free to leave if they want, Global Times reporters learned from the company. Every worker whom the reporters spoke with conformed the policy. 

Read more: https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202104/1222413.shtml

There was a subtitle which was deleted, but which was preserved in the HTML web code, which reads “City bounces back one year after restart, clears its name after the West’s slander“.

The Chinese Communist Party backed investigative reporters also spoke to workers on an alleged forced labor cotton farm, confirming the cotton workers also say they are happy with their jobs.

The article ends with a suggestion that accusations of forced labour and slavery are an unprovoked US economic attack on Chinese industry, a “master key for the US to hit any industry of Xinjiang”, though they do not provide an explanation for why the USA would particularly want to target industries in Xinjiang.

Update (EW): Another image of Uyghur students receiving education in a Chinese Xinjiang vocational education facility. Notice the blue uniforms, similar to those worn by Uyghurs in the image at the top of the page.

Detainees listening to speeches in a re-education camp in Lop County, Xinjiang, April 2017. By From an article titled “用情感敲开心灵大门 用说理舒缓群众情绪”, published by the wechat MP platform account “Xinjiang Juridical Administration”, via baidu baijiahao platform archive https://baijiahao.baidu.com/s?id=1564669932542581Original image creator: 牙生, Fair useLink

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May 1, 2021