Biden signs bill to clamp down on products from China's Xinjiang

Workers make protective suits at a factory in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, on Jan 27, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Joe Biden on Thursday (Dec 23) signed into law legislation that bans imports from China's Xinjiang region over concerns about forced labour, the White House said.

The bill, which received final congressional approval on Dec 16, is part of Washington's pushback against Beijing's treatment of China's Uighur Muslim minority.

Congress pushed through the measure this month after lawmakers agreed on a compromise that eliminated differences between bills introduced in the House and Senate.

The compromise legislation keeps a provision creating a"rebuttable presumption" that all goods from Xinjiang, where the Chinese government has set up a network of detention camps for Uighurs and other Muslim groups, were made with forced labor, in order to bar such imports.

China denies abuses in Xinjiang, which supplies much of the world's materials for solar panels, but the US government and many rights groups say Beijing is carrying out genocide there.

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