This report just in from The Wall Street Journal. EITHER WE EXTERMINATE THE EVIL HAN CHINESE RACE OR THEY WILL ENSLAVE US. These are the choices open to Western Civilisation. Simple.
AKSU, China—Western companies, including brand name apparel makers and food companies, have become entangled in China’s campaign to forcibly assimilate its Muslim population.
Adidas AG, Hennes & Mauritz AB, Kraft Heinz , Coca-Cola andGap are among those at the end of the long, often opaque supply chains that travel through China’s northwest region of Xinjiang. Residents there are routinely forced into training programs that feed workers to area factories, according to locals, official notices and state media.
Political indoctrination is a significant component of the programs, which are aimed at ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, according to official notices. Along with vocational skills, the curriculum covers Mandarin Chinese, the importance of the Communist Party and national unity, Chinese law and how to counter extremism—such as not dressing too conservatively or praying too frequently. The programs can include militarylike drills.
For workers and factory bosses, resistance to such programs could result in detention as suspected extremist sympathizers.
Some companies said such compulsory training programs would contravene their policies for suppliers, which mandate responsible workplace conditions, free of discrimination.
Much of this has taken place under the radar. Beijing has directed Chinese companies to bring jobs to Xinjiang, often through subcontracting that isn’t known to Western companies, as part of the government’s effort to reduce what it says is violence and religious extremism in the area.
Authorities in Xinjiang have also put in place aggressive surveillance measures, razed traditional Uighur neighborhoods and drawn international protest over detention camps for Muslims.
In interviews, local officials said residents weren’t being forced into training programs, and that they are helping impoverished residents find jobs. Xinjiang’s government said in a written statement there is no forced labor in the region and called any talk of it “rumor and slander.”
A large mill for Huafu Fashion Co. in Aksu runs its workers through a monthlong job-training program in cooperation with the government. The city, near China’s border with Kyrgyzstan, is blanketed in barbed wire, police checkpoints and security cameras. Three-quarters of its residents are Uighur.
A photo in an online announcement for Huafu’s training site, opened in December 2017 with 600 trainees, shows female workers dressed in camouflage standing at attention. The factory is billed as the world’s largest mixed-color cotton yarn mill, and the local government said in official notices the Huafu site was part of the “establishment of large-scale vocational training.”
Speaking to residents is difficult; local officials interrupted interviews during the Journal’s recent trip to the region. In one interview near the Huafu mill, with officials hovering nearby, 20-year-old Subinur Ghojam and a co-worker said they had come to the factory from a training program. “Before I used to have extremist thoughts, but now they’re all gone,” Ms. Ghojam said.
After she was heard telling a reporter she had been in a training center, officials took her into a room in an adjacent restaurant. She then returned and said, “They say it’s secret. Even speaking of it is not allowed.”
The gray yarn made by Huafu in Xinjiang goes to factories elsewhere in China and in Bangladesh and Cambodia that weave T-shirts for Hennes & Mauritz’s H&M retail chain, two people familiar with the company say. The yarn also turns up in the supply chains of Adidas and Esprit Holdings , although the brands don’t buy directly from Huafu, according to the companies.
In response to queries, Adidas said it has advised its suppliers to suspend yarn purchases from Huafu pending its investigation. Adidas had already banned its suppliers from hiring workers through Xinjiang government agencies in 2016, saying it was concerned about forced labor and discrimination. Esprit said it is investigating Huafu. H&M said it has no plans to begin new supplier relationships in the region.
Huafu, based in eastern China, said all its workers are there voluntarily, and its labor management system was “fully compliant with international conventions and regulations.” In a statement, the company said its in-house training program is mandatory for all new workers regardless of ethnicity or religion.
A Gap spokeswoman said two of its suppliers use yarn from mills in Xinjiang, and the brand is currently sorting supplier mills as “preferred” and “non-preferred.” The company has “communicated to our vendors’ entire mill base our expectations of their social and environmental performance, which are conditions of doing business with us,” she said.
A few years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered a full-scale crackdown in Xinjiang after bombings and other violence authorities blamed on Islamic militants. Boosting employment was central to the government’s strategy. “A person with a job will be stable,” Mr. Xi told local officials in 2014.
New ThreadBeijing has encouraged more yarn productionin Xinjiang, the source of 84% of China'scotton.Cotton production
.million tonsXinjiangRest of China2008’10’12’14’16’1802468
Xinjiang's yarn production as a share ofChina'sSources: Xinjiang Statistics Bureau; China NationalBureau of Statistics
Major garment makers have been given a five-year tax exemption and subsidies for electricity, land and worker training to move production to Xinjiang.
Nate Herman, a senior vice president for the American Apparel and Footwear Association, an industry trade group, said his group has discussed the Uighur situation and the opacity of supply chains in Xinjiang. “We know there’s an issue,” he said.
In southern Xinjiang, the governments of Hotan and Kashgar announced in 2017 a three-year push to place 100,000 “surplus rural laborers” in vocational programs.
In Aksu, officials have gathered up more than 4,000 residents over the past two years for deradicalization and textile-making courses under “concentrated, closed-off, military-style management” to meet factories’ labor needs, Aksu’s human resources and social services bureau said in a notice in December. Many were headed for textile factories, the notice said.
During the Journal’s visit, village bulletin boards around Aksu displayed lists of residents below the poverty line, with their full names, national ID numbers and reason for impoverishment (“lack land,” “lack skills,” “lack motivation”). All of the dozens of listed names viewed by the Journal in two villages carried the same case resolution: “transferred to work.”
Documents related to training programs were deleted from government websites after the Journal posed questions to local officials.
A Uighur outside of the city remembers officials sweeping through villages to “organize” locals to work in textile factories last year. If the workers quit, the person said, officials return to organize them again.
“If the government tells you to go work, you go,” this person said.
Li Xinbin, propaganda chief of Aksu, said he and other officials are assigned individual families to lift out of poverty, defined as an annual income below 2,300 yuan ($340), by the end of this year. They use personal time and funds if necessary, and must log their progress in a smartphone app. Mr. Li said the city had no “training centers” of any kind.
Chinese officials have applied the term vocational training broadly, including for detention camps where Uighurs say they were tortured and forced to renounce Islam.
Adrian Zenz, who researches Xinjiang’s camps, said the detention centers and shorter term job-training programs form a continuum of coercion. “In either case, these types of training are not really voluntary but government-mandated.”
Hong Kong-based Esquel Group—the world’s largest contract shirt maker, which says its customers include Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger,Nike and Patagonia Inc.—set up three spinning mills in Xinjiang to be close to the region’s cotton fields. Esquel CEO John Cheh said that in 2017 officials began offering the company Uighurs from southern Xinjiang as workers.
Esquel took 34 in total the past two years, with all hiring decisions and training made independently of the government, Mr. Cheh said: “We were in no way forced to employ anyone.”
PVH , the parent company of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, said it plans to increase scrutiny of raw materials suppliers. Nike said it was asking its suppliers if they use cotton from Xinjiang. Patagonia declined to comment.
Xinjiang Jinliyuan Garment Co. put villagers supplied by the government through a training program that included “de-extremification” before setting them to work, according to government announcements.
Jinliyuan makes some jackets for European-based retail chain C&A, a unit of Cofra Holding AG. A Xinjiang TV report in July also showed workers at the factory sewing pink Minnie Mouse-themed children’s parkas.
“Before we would recruit workers one by one ourselves, but now the human resources and social security bureau and management committees find labor for us,” said production manager Zhang Yujiang in the broadcast.
A Disney spokeswoman said the company doesn’t have relationships with garment factories in Xinjiang and didn’t authorize the Aksu mill to produce the parkas. She wouldn’t specify whether the garments were counterfeit. A spokesman for C&A said the retailer bought jackets from the Aksu mill last year after audits found no issues. Jinliyuan didn’t respond to requests for comment.
A July article in the state-run Xinjiang Economic Journal said that executives of Cofco Tunhe visited Aksu’s Aketuohai village to recruit villagers to their factory to help the government’s poverty-alleviation push. The state-run company is China’s largest tomato processor, with Xinjiang as its main production base, supplying tomato paste to Kraft Heinz and Campbell Soup and sugar to Coca-Cola.
According to the article, managers noted some villagers weren’t eager to work, saying “the vast majority of them ran back within a few days.”
Cofco Tunhe said in a statement that events described in the article “never happened.” It said all its workers were there voluntarily.
Kraft Heinz said 5% of its tomato supply came from Xinjiang, with none sold in the U.S. Campbell Soup said less than 2% of its tomato paste comes from China, with those products sold in Australia and Malaysia. Coca-Cola said it requires suppliers to follow “our strict policies on responsible workplace and human rights” and uses third-party agencies to monitor compliance.
Xinjiang companies are expected to make regular donations to the local government for policy campaigns and public security. In its 2017 annual report, Cofco Tunhe said it donated 3.5 million yuan ($520,000) to Aksu’s Wushi County government for vocational skills training, low-income housing, tomato industry development and a security patrol car.
Cofco Tunhe said the donated vehicle was a service car to assist residents.
After the initial training, Xinjiang factories are expected to monitor workers and conduct periodic deradicalization programs, according to factory announcements. At the Aksu textile park, a subsidiary of Shanghai-listed shirtmaker Youngor Group Co. held such a session for 240 workers in May 2017 at the request of park management.
At the meeting, workers were told not to pray in public or keep books with ethnic or religious content, according to an online post by Youngor. The post said employees were told not to browse or spread online content harmful to ethnic unity, and that the company would tighten its internet oversight.
Youngor didn’t respond to requests for comment.