Xinjiang’s “Poverty Alleviation Through Labor Transfer program continues to expand,” Zenz continued.
The labor transfer scheme, according to the report, “is the only forced labor policy that has been directly linked to the production of cotton, tomatoes and tomato products, peppers and seasonal agricultural products, seafood products, polysilicon production for solar panels, lithium for electric vehicle batteries, and aluminum for batteries, vehicle bodies, and wheels.”
He described China’s industrial parks as “premier destinations for the most coercive forms of labor transfers and the forced work placements of re-education detainees.”
The 2023 work plan for one Xinjiang county, Karakax, outlines a continued acceleration of industrial park expansion and the promotion of “labor-intensive industrial clusters,” including the “vigorous development” of “labor-intensive enterprises” such as textile and clothing producers, or electronic product assembly lines and light industrial manufacturing, he writes.
Europe has been mulling an appropriate response to documented human rights abuses in Xinjiang, which is a top supplier of solar panels crucial to the EU’s green transition.
Five years after it first came under pressure from the United States to strengthen its countermeasures, however, Brussels is still searching for a solution — and time is running out.