Biden bans imports from Xinjiang over forced labor concerns

The bill, which received final congressional approval on Dec. 16, is part of Washington's pushback against Beijing's treatment of China's Uyghur Muslim minority.

A Chinese pagoda overlooks the old city in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, May 4, 2021. (photo credit:  REUTERS/THOMAS PETER)
A Chinese pagoda overlooks the old city in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, May 4, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/THOMAS PETER)

US President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law legislation that bans imports from China's Xinjiang region over concerns about forced labor, the White House said.

The bill, which received final congressional approval on Dec. 16, is part of Washington's pushback against Beijing's treatment of China's Uyghur Muslim minority.

Congress pushed through the measure this month after lawmakers agreed on a compromise that eliminated differences between bills introduced in the House and Senate.

Map of the Xinjiang Internment Camps based on data collected by the US National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the Australian government affiliated Australian Strategic Policy Institute. (credit: NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY/PUBLIC DOMAIN/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)Map of the Xinjiang Internment Camps based on data collected by the US National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the Australian government affiliated Australian Strategic Policy Institute. (credit: NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY/PUBLIC DOMAIN/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

The compromise legislation keeps a provision creating a "rebuttable presumption" that all goods from Xinjiang, where the Chinese government has set up a network of detention camps for Uyghurs and other Muslim groups, were made with forced labor, in order to bar such imports.

China denies abuses in Xinjiang, which supplies much of the world's materials for solar panels, but the US government and many rights groups say Beijing is carrying out genocide there.