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Experts: US 'Uyghur act' aims to harm China's image
update:December 27,2021
A Uygur family harvests ripe grapes in Turpan, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo/People's Daily Online]
United States President Joe Biden's signing into law of the so-called "Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act" has been described by overseas experts as an infringement on the sovereignty of China, a "dangerous machination" and far-fetched propaganda serving only to "tarnish the image of China in the global arena".
China declared on Friday that it deplores and opposes the US approving legislation that bans imports from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region due to concerns over so-called forced labor, and it called on Washington to stop using related issues to contain China's development, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.
Dennis Munene, executive director of the China-Africa Center at the Kenya-based Africa Policy Institute, said the act is an infringement on the sovereignty of China's progressive democracy and amounts to an act of economic sabotage and discrimination against the Xinjiang community.
The document, which bans products made in China's Xinjiang, citing "oppression" of Uygurs and other minority populations, is by itself a violation of the rights of the Xinjiang community and, as a whole, of Chinese civilization, Munene said.
Gerald Mbanda, a Rwandan researcher and publisher, said it is "a politically motivated move and an act of provocation aimed at destabilizing and isolating China".
"The so-called forced labor in Xinjiang is a lie that US authorities invented and want to sell to the world, aimed at tarnishing the image of China in the global arena," Mbanda said.
Junichiro Kusumoto, a law professor at Toyo University in Tokyo, said a nation has sovereignty and cannot allow other nations to interfere in its internal affairs.
"Therefore, liberal regimes use basic human rights as a shield to exert pressure through means beyond the framework of the state," said the professor.
Imtiaz Gul, executive director of the Center for Research and Security Studies in Pakistan, said that the US act is "further proof of how the US wants to up the ante against China".
"The ban on products from Xinjiang is again a political ploy to keep up the pressure on China, and it is one example of the political unilateralism as well as exceptionalism of the US. So they (US politicians) pick and choose wherever and whatever suits them," Gul said.
Mushahid Hussain Syed, chairman of the Pakistani Senate's Defense Committee, said the US ban on Xinjiang products is motivated by geopolitics as part of a campaign to demonize China.
He said the purpose of the US move is to pressure China over its Xinjiang region, make Xinjiang into a global issue and mobilize US public opinion against China, in order to create a consensus within the US system on this one issue, in an otherwise dysfunctional and divided political system.
Mbanda, the Rwandan researcher, said the US is known in history for inhuman use of forced labor and profiteering from the slave trade.
According to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, between the 16th and 19th centuries, an estimated 35 million men, women and children were brought from Africa to what is now the United States to provide free labor in fields, working under grueling conditions.
The US also falsely accuses China of the very crimes it committed against the indigenous people in the US, Mbanda said.
The researcher cited data from Russell Thornton's book American Indian Holocaust and Survival: a Population History Since 1492, saying that around 12 million indigenous people died within present US geographical boundaries between 1492 and 1900.
"The forced labor claim is simply a creation by the US used as a convenient excuse to continue the trade wars of stopping Chinese goods from accessing the American markets," Mbanda said. "The US has deliberately distorted the challenges faced in the Xinjiang region to fit into their own interests.
"The claim of genocide against the Uygurs, therefore, is a dangerous machination and propaganda that only embarrasses the US administration before the international community," Mbanda added.
Zhao Ruinan contributed to this story.

By LIU HONGJIE in Beijing, XU WEIWEI in Hong Kong,XU WEIWEI and WANG XU in Tokyo
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