The accusation of "forced labor" against Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is the "lie of the century" made by the US and some Western countries, while the US itself is the country that has problems of forced labor, with people's health and security going unprotected, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press conference on Thursday.
The US has banned imports of cotton products and tomatoes from China's Xinjiang region over "forced labor" concerns, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said on Wednesday. The ban will be effective at all US ports of entry, CNN reported.
China firmly opposed the US ban and said the untenable "lie of the century" was made by the US and some Western countries to restrict and suppress Chinese companies and to contain China, Zhao said.
The US came up with the lies and made malicious moves in accordance with its lies, which violate the rules of the market, harm the global industrial chain, and infringe on the interests of global customers, including Americans. This is a typical move that harms others and brings no good to itself, Zhao said.
The spokesperson said that reports of forced labor in the US have appeared in the media. He cited reports in many US media outlets in April which said that in Texas, prisoners were forced to work 12-hour shifts to make masks for no pay after the COVID-19 outbreak.
"Hundreds of thousands of Americans died from COVID-19, and people like George Floyd cannot breathe. The US cannot protect the basic security and health of its people, so how do US politicians get the courage to point fingers at China's policies?" Zhao asked.