Washington [US], March 28 (ANI): The United States has chided Chinese state-led social media campaign against American companies and other foreign businesses that have pledged not to use cotton and other components involving Uyghur workers in Xinjiang.
As tensions escalated between the west and China over sanctions related to Uyghurs, Chinese media has called for Chinese boycotts of Swedish multinational retailer H&M, sports apparel powerhouses Nike and Adidas; New Balance; Burberry and other members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) that have voiced concerns or pledged not to use supply chain components produced in Xinjiang, South China Morning Post reported.
On Friday, the Biden administration condemned China and said America is keen to ensure that US companies adhere to US law and worker concerns and "don't in any way support forced labour".
"We commend and stand with companies that adhere to US laws and ensure that products we are consuming are not made with forced labour," State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter said.
In a separate briefing Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called out Beijing's strategic use of its state-led economy. "The international community in our view should oppose China's weaponising of private companies' dependence on its markets to stifle free expression and inhibit ethical business practices," she said.
The United States, Canada and the United Kingdom joined the European Union (EU) on Monday to take what they described as "coordinated action" against China to send "a clear message about the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang".
The sanctions blacklisted former and current officials in the Xinjiang region--Zhu Hailun, Wang Junzheng, Wang Mingshan and Chen Mingguo--for alleged abuses, which have sparked international outrage.
The coordinated move also targeted the state-run Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. The sanctions agreed on Monday mark the EU's first punitive measures on Beijing since it imposed an arms embargo after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
In retaliation to the bloc's sanctions, China has decided to introduce sanctions against 10 European Union officials and four European organisations after accusing them of spreading lies and false information about the Xinjiang region.
On Friday, China introduced sanctions on nine UK citizens and four entities in response to London's sanctions on Beijing over the issue of human rights abuses in Xinjiang province.
The dispute has seen a flurry of activity in diplomatic circles, with China and European nations summoning each other's ambassadors to answer for the move and responses to it, according to the South China Morning Post. (ANI)