Power Play: China's hard message on Xinjiang cotton

With counter sanctions and consumer boycotts, Beijing wants the rest of the world to know it is dealing with a new China – one not to be trifled with.

Western brands have expressed concern about the alleged use of forced labour in Xinjiang's cotton industry.PHOTO: REUTERS

Power Play is a weekly column that looks at various facets of US-China rivalry and its implications for Asia.

The image was a stark one - four Nike sneakers lined up neatly in a row, flames leaping from each of them.

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