On Thursday, the United States Congress unanimously passed the bill called the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. This bill aims to restrict imports from China’s Xinjiang region unless the Chinese companies exporting to the U.S. prove that the commodities or materials are made free of slave labour.
However, this move was not welcomed by China. At a daily briefing on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China would take all necessary measures to safeguard its institutions and enterprises.
Wenbing criticized the U.S. decision by stating that the bill “indicates that the U.S. has no scruples about smearing China by every means.”
Wang also added that “The relevant actions seriously undermine the principles of market economy and international economic and trade rules, and seriously damage the interests of Chinese institutions and enterprises. China strongly deplores and rejects that and urges the U.S. to immediately correct its mistake. China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese institutions and enterprises.”
On Friday, the official Xinhua News Agency also said, “The U.S. government is trying to strangle the economy of Xinjiang through its industrial and supply chains under the false pretexts of ‘forced labour’ and ‘violations of human rights,'”
Although Chinese officials have made it clear that they would respond to these sanctions, it is still unclear what the response could be as president Joe Biden is yet to sign the bill into law.