Export restrictions are aimed at companies that produce raw materials used in Xinjiang’s solar panel industry.
On Wednesday, the United States restricted exports to five Chinese companies that, they said, were involved in Chinese human rights violations, including major polysilicon producers for the solar panel industry.
Companies have been listed for human rights violations and abuses Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, according to a U.S. government official that filed Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Commerce said companies accept or use forced labor.
Companies added to the Commerce Department’s List of Entities include Hoshine Silicon Industry; Xinjiang Daqo New Energy, a unit of Daqo New Energy Corp; Xinjiang East Hope Nonferrous Metals, a subsidiary of East Manufacturing giant East Group; Xinjiang GCL New Energy Material and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC).
At least some of the companies are major producers of monocrystalline and polysilicon silicon that are used in production of solar panels.
U.S. officials had suggested that President Joe Biden’s administration was considering restrictions on Chinese solar producers in Xinjiang, where a large portion of the global supply of polysilicon used in solar panels is sourced.
“To my knowledge the Biden administration is now in the process of assessing whether or not this will be the aim of sanctions”He told the House of Representatives in May John Kerry, sent to the climate for Biden, referring to solar products in Xinjiang.
U XPCC was sent to Xinjiang in the 1950s to build farms and settlements. It remains powerful in the region’s energy and agricultural sectors, operating almost like a parallel state.
The United States too banned the import of cotton from the December XPCC, citing “slave labor.”
Foreign governments and human rights activists say it has been a force in repression and surveillance of owls in the region, managing some detention camps. The U.S. Treasury Department last year sanctioned XPCC for “serious abuses of rights against ethnic minorities.”
In March, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions on two other Chinese officials in connection with serious human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region of China, where Washington says ethnic Muslims are victims of genocide. One of the sanctioned officials was Wang Junzheng, secretary of the XPCC Party Committee.
Both the Biden administration and the previous administration of former President Donald Trump have taken harsh tones against the treatment from China to the Uighurs.
The Trump administration has denounced China’s behavior in Xinjiang. “genocideIn January, shortly before Biden took office.
Biden has pushed world leaders to act against forced labor in Xinjiang during its first international trip in April.