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Головна - Економіка - German companies must leave the Chinese province where the Uighurs live as soon as possible

Beijing’s harsh policy toward the Uighur national minority in its own country has become widely known and has led to international political and economic sanctions against China. It is obvious that the sanctions imposed by the international community also apply to the enterprises of economically successful Germany.
The popular South German publication Süddeutsche Zeitung was published on May 16, 2006. an article by Daniel Brössler, a correspondent in Berlin, on the negative economic consequences for German companies of passing a law and the tightening of the world’s policies caused by China’s arbitrariness against the Uighur minority.

Probable “re-education camp” in China’s Xinjiang province in May 2019.
Photo: Greg Baker / AFP)
The publication, citing a statement by a group of experts from the German Bundestag, notes that the consequences of the introduction of a new law on supply chains will be problems for business structures.
Due to serious human rights violations against the Uighurs, German companies may soon be forced to limit or suspend their activities in the Xinjiang region of northwest China. Information on this situation is contained in the conclusion of the Scientific Service of the Bundestag, which is available to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, the publication notes.
With the entry into force of the Supply Chain Act, “it seems almost inevitable that German companies will terminate their business relations with Chinese suppliers,” the German newspaper said if they used forced labor. Relevant provisions in the German bill were introduced at the request of the Green Party. Otherwise, German companies face significant fines. In some cases, there may also be “individual criminal liability of company employees.”
The Greens are demanding that German companies draw conclusions. Margarete Bause, a spokeswoman for the Greens in the Bundestag for human rights, said that due to the law, the responsibility of German companies operating in Xinjiang would be “clearer than ever.” She also said that every German company should now seriously ask itself whether it intends to maintain further business relations with Xinjiang under these conditions. The law sends a clear message: “It is not possible to avoid a decision.”

According to experts, the law creates a new legal situation

The statement said that the law on supply chains, introduced by the government to parliament in March this year, creates a new legal situation. However, the United Nations Business and Human Rights Guidelines oblige companies to respect human rights wherever they do business. However, the implementation of such a provision has no legal prospects. The situation will be different in Germany as soon as the supply chain law enters into force. The bill provides for fines for large companies of up to two percent of annual sales if they do not take action against human rights violations and environmental violations by their global suppliers.
From the point of view of experts of the Bundestag, the Süddeutsche Zeitung notes, it is clear that in the case of Xinjiang this should lead to corresponding consequences. The publication cites media reports that many foreign, including German, commercial enterprises benefit from the exploitation of Uighurs in Xinjiang, and in some cases they have obtained products directly from factories or cooperated with suppliers who use forced labor. Accordingly, the factory buildings used by German commercial enterprises are located in the immediate vicinity of Chinese internment camps and so-called “re-education camps”. The Bundestag expert report mentions Adidas, Puma, BMW, Bosch, Siemens, Volkswagen and BASF. The accused German companies, the publication notes, responded to such allegations with “numerous statements, objections or concessions.”

Bundestag experts talk about genocide in Xinjiang
According to German experts from the Scientific Service of the Bundestag, the Chinese state is committing genocide in Xinjiang. The expert group’s report states that “from publicly available sources of information and reports on the treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang, it can be argued that all five provisions of Article 2 of the Genocide Convention have been achieved.”
Unlike the Bundestag, the parliaments of Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have already called the Chinese actions in Xinjiang genocide. The Bundestag also feels responsible “for the study,” said spokeswoman Bause. The situation in Xinjiang will be the subject of a hearing in the Bundestag’s Human Rights Committee this Monday.