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U.S. bans some Chinese solar imports over Xinjiang forced labor

The Biden administration 0n Thursday banned imports of solar materials from a Chinese firm accused of using forced labor in China's Xinjiang region.

Why it matters: It's the latest step in the U.S. push to hold China accountable for its human rights abuses in Xinjiang, where the State Department has accused the Chinese government of carrying out a genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities.

  • As part of its sweeping campaign of mass detention, surveillance and forced assimilation, the Chinese government has forced Muslim minorities to work in factories in Xinjiang and other parts of the country.
  • China dominates the supply chain for solar energy equipment, per Politico.

The U.S. is also restricting exports to five Chinese companies allegedly involved in human rights violations.

  • The firms — Hoshine Silicon Industry (Shanshan); Xinjiang Daqo New Energy; Xinjiang East Hope Nonferrous Metals; Xinjiang GCL New Energy Material Technology, and XPCC — are large producers of polysilicon for solar panels.

What they're saying: "The PRC’s use of forced labor in Xinjiang is an integral part of its systematic abuses against the Uyghur population and other ethnic and religious minority groups, and addressing these abuses will remain a high priority," the White House said in a statement.

  • "The United States will not tolerate forced labor in our supply chains and will continue to stand up for our values and for U.S. workers and businesses."

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