DHS Bans Imports From 3 More Chinese Firms Accused of Using Forced Uyghur Labor

DHS Bans Imports From 3 More Chinese Firms Accused of Using Forced Uyghur Labor
A facility believed to be a reeducation camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, in Artux, north of Kashgar in China's western Xinjiang region, on June 2, 2019. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)
Ryan Morgan
6/11/2024
Updated:
6/11/2024
0:00

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) added three Chinese entities to its list of companies suspected of relying on the forced labor of China’s Uyghur ethnic minority.

Congress passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) in 2021 to prevent U.S. imports of goods produced using forced Uyghur labor. Since then, DHS has maintained the UFPLA entity list to track foreign business entities it believes violate these forced labor provisions.
On Tuesday, DHS announced it had added Dongguan Oasis Shoes Co., Ltd, Shandong Meijia Group Co., Ltd., and Xinjiang Shenhuo Coal and Electricity Co., Ltd. to their UFPLA entity list.

The UFPLA establishes a rebuttable presumption that any goods produced in China’s northwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), or sold by a business included on the UFPLA entity list, were prepared using forced labor. Products sold by any impacted entities are banned from importation into the United States unless the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner determines, by a “clear and convincing” standard of evidence, that the goods were not produced with forced labor.

The DHS alleged, in its Tuesday press statement, that Dongguan Oasis Shoes has partnered with the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) “to recruit, transfer, and receive individuals from persecuted groups, including Uyghurs” out of XUAR to work at the shoemaker’s factory in the Guangdong province of eastern China.

The XPCC is a Chinese state-affiliated paramilitary organization originally formed to oversee the Uyghur population and the economic development of the Xinjiang region. President Donald Trump’s administration levied sanctions against XPCC in July 2020, on allegations that the Chinese state-backed entity has engaged in the “mass arbitrary detention and severe physical abuse” of Uyghurs and other Turkic and Muslim ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

In their statement, the DHS alleged Shandong Meijia Group—a food processing company based in China’s eastern Shandong province—also partnered with the Chinese government’s XUAR administration in labor transfer programs that saw Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities transferred out of the Xinjiang region to work at locations in Shandong.

Likewise, the DHS alleged that Xinjiang Shenhuo Coal and Electricity—an XUAR-based producer of electrolytic aluminum, graphite carbon, and prebaked anodes—also participated in Chinese government-sponsored labor transfer programs.

“The Department of Homeland Security will not tolerate forced labor in U.S. supply chains and will enforce our laws across all industries and sectors,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said of the new designations. “We will continue to investigate companies that use or facilitate forced labor and will hold those entities responsible. We urge stakeholders across industry, civil society and our international partners to work with us to eliminate the scourge of forced labor.”

Dongguan Oasis Shoes, Shandong Meijia Group, and Xinjiang Shenhuo Coal and Electricity now sit alongside dozens of other Chinese business entities on the UFPLA entity list. On Tuesday, DHS reported its entity list grew by 240 percent in the past 12 months, “reflecting our strong commitment to increase enforcement.”
The U.S. government added 26 Chinese textile companies to the UFPLA entity list in May over Uyghur forced labor concerns.

The Chinese government has denied allegations it engages in abusive labor practices targeting the Uyghurs and other ethnic minority populations.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the UFPLA’s passage in December 2021, stating the U.S. law “maliciously denigrates the human rights situation in China’s Xinjiang in disregard of facts and truth.”

NTD News reached out to the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. for comment on the latest actions targeting Dongguan Oasis Shoes, Shandong Meijia Group, and Xinjiang Shenhuo Coal and Electricity. The embassy did not respond by press time.

Ryan Morgan is a news writer for NTD, The Epoch Times’ sister media publication. He primarily focuses on military and world affairs but also frequently covers U.S. domestic political events.