US Likely Bought Chinese Solar Panels Made With Forced Labor: Uyghur Advocate

US Likely Bought Chinese Solar Panels Made With Forced Labor: Uyghur Advocate
Solar panels in this drone photo at the Impact solar facility in Deport, Texas, on July 15, 2021. (Drone Base/Reuters)
Kevin Hogan
As House Republicans demand an investigation over suspicion that Department of Homeland Security money is being used to buy Chinese solar panels made with forced labor, there is a high possibility that Uyghur slave labor has been involved, according to Salih Hudayar, the prime minister of the East Turkistan government-in-exile.
“It’s very likely given the fact that prior to China starting its official campaign of genocide and forced labor of the Uyghurs in 2014, solar power polysilicon production in East Turkistan amounted for only 9 percent of the global production. By 2021, it proliferated to over 50 percent of global production,” Hudayar said in an interview on NTD News, The Epoch Times’ sister media.
“And the fact that this is happening around the same time that China’s locking up millions of Uyghurs and other peoples in concentration camps and forced labor camps, shows us that this is only possible if the Chinese [regime] was using slave labor of Uyghurs,” he added.

Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps

Hudayar pointed to the links of many solar panel manufacturers with the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC). He said it is a “Chinese paramilitary force that is responsible for not only colonizing Turkistan, but also suppressing any dissent.”

It is an entity that was sanctioned by the U.S. government back in July 2021 as it is “implementing the ongoing genocide,” he said.

On July 31, 2021, the Trump administration announced sanctions on current and former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials heading the XPCC, as well as the XPCC itself, over human rights abuses.

Torture of Uyghurs

The United Nations estimates that more than a million Uyghurs have been detained in internment camps in the Xinjiang region.

Hudayar affirmed credible reports have shown that the Uyghurs are facing sexual abuse, rape, and having their organs harvested, much like the believers of Falun Gong.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice composed of meditative exercises and a set of moral teachings based on the principles of truth, compassion, and forbearance. It grew in popularity during the 1990s leading to up to 100 million people practicing in China by the end of the decade. Perceiving this to be a threat, the Chinese regime in 1999 launched a nationwide campaign seeking to eradicate the practice.

Since then, millions of adherents have been detained in prisons, labor camps, and detention centers across the country, where they are subjected to torture, slave labor, and forced organ harvesting.
New evidence has emerged pointing to the Chinese regime’s ongoing organ harvesting crimes, according to Ethan Gutmann, China studies research fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

In Gutmann’s estimation, 25,000 to 50,000 Uyghurs are being killed for their organs every year—a number similar to that of estimates for Falun Gong adherents.

Those in the camps are being “subjected to forced indoctrination, up to 14 to 16 hours a day, praising the Chinese Communist Party,” Hudayar added.

According to Hudayar, forced labor is being used as a sort of a recursive cycle.

“Because even to hold millions of Uyghurs in concentration camps, it cost the Chinese [regime] a lot of money to pay for their security forces to pay for all the extra, [such as] surveillance and other systems that they have in place,” he explained.

Hudayar pointed to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), which President Joe Biden signed into law in December 2021 and which went into effect in June, bans imports from Xinjiang unless companies can prove that the products weren’t produced using forced labor.

“It’s completely unacceptable that the U.S. government or any entity is doing business with a sanctioned entity that is very deeply involved in the ongoing genocide,” he said.

Cathy He contributed to this report.
Hannah Ng is a reporter covering U.S. and China news. She holds a master's degree in international and development economics from the University of Applied Science Berlin.
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