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Report: Xinjiang cotton found in Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss tops

  • Research suggests Xinjiang cotton is being used in T-shirts from some of Germany’s biggest apparel companies, including Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss.
  • Agroisolab researchers explained that nature leaves behind a “signature” in cotton, caused by the “climate and geology” of a place.
  • The signature is what scientists call an “isotopic fingerprint,” which enables them to assign the place of origin in a piece of cotton.
  • Adidas and Puma made commitments in 2020 to not source any cotton from the Xinjiang region due to allegations of forced labor in the region.
  • Xinjiang cotton has been a high point of controversy due to reports that more than half a million ethnic minorities, particularly Uyghur Muslims, are being forced to pick cotton via “labor programs.”
  • In response to recent claims made in a report from The Guardian, both Adidas and Puma reiterated that their companies did not source cotton from the Xinjiang region.

Research suggests Xinjiang cotton is being used in T-shirts by some of Germany’s biggest apparel companies, despite their commitments not to source from the Chinese region due to allegations of forced labor. 

According to the German public broadcaster NDR on Thursday, scientists from the Agroisolab in Jülich revealed through isotope analysis that shirts from major German clothing labels, including Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss, have traces of Xinjiang cotton in them.

China is tracking down Uyghurs across the world, independent study finds

  • China’s crackdown on Uyghurs extends beyond Xinjiang to a diaspora spread throughout the world, according to a new independent study.
  • Author Bradley Jardine describes the phenomenon as “transnational repression,” which can be traced back to 1997.
  • Between 1997 and January 2022, more than 1,500 Uyghurs were deported or extradited back to China, while over 5,000 more were subjected to intimidation and harassment, the study found.
  • The repression is expected to grow as China fortifies its tools to include cyberattacks and other forms of online harassment.
  • Jardine recommends the U.S. and other democratic countries to strengthen refugee resettlement programs, establish channels for harassment reporting and restrict exports on surveillance technologies.

In pursuit of its security ideals, China aims to track down every single Uyghur throughout the world, a new study reveals.

Beijing has devised a transnational system of surveillance, extradition and detention that is “pervasive, tenacious and often illegal,” according to research published by the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States.

NBA fans shown Chinese ambassador’s message amid criticism of players allegedly benefiting from Xinjiang forced labor

  • The Washington Wizards hosted their annual “Chinese New Year” celebration during a match with the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 25.
  • As part of the celebration, Qin Gang, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, recorded a video message for the event’s basketball players and their fans, praising the strong ties between the NBA and the Chinese market.
  • Qin’s message comes amid claims that some NBA players are working with companies tied to the alleged human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region.

Fans who attended a recent NBA game were subjected to watching a video message from a Chinese official amid allegations that some of the league’s players are benefiting from human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region. 

On Jan. 25, the Washington Wizards hosted their annual Lunar New Year celebration – which they refer to as “Chinese New Year” – during a match with the Los Angeles Clippers. The event featured performances, activities and a special matchup animation. Prior to the start of the game, the U.S. national anthem was performed using the pipa, a traditional Chinese instrument.

Intel accused of ‘cowardice’ over removal of Xinjiang reference after China backlash

  • Intel deleted references to China’s Xinjiang region from a letter to suppliers after sparking online controversy.
  • The letter originally urged suppliers to “ensure our supply chain does not use any labor or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region.”
  • Intel has since issued an apology, noting that it was merely complying with a new U.S. law banning imports from the region.

Tech company Intel was heavily criticized in China after posting an open letter urging its suppliers to avoid sourcing goods and services from the country’s Xinjiang region.

The semiconductor chip manufacturer appears to have backpedaled by issuing an apology following backlash from Chinese social media users and state-run news outlets, reported The Wall Street Journal

China accuses Walmart of ‘stupidity’ for pulling Xinjiang products

Walmart XinJiang Controversy
  • Walmart is the latest Western brand to be caught up in controversy while attempting to navigate Chinese politics.
  • Chinese social media users accused Sam's Club, the warehouse retailer owned by Walmart, of removing all Xinjiang-sourced products from its app in the country last month.
  • Online criticism prompted a dispute between the Chinese Communist Party and Sam’s Club, and China accused Sam’s Club of "stupidity" and "shortsightedness."

Walmart is the latest Western brand to become caught up in controversy while attempting to navigate Chinese politics.

Claims on Chinese social media

Elon Musk opens Tesla showroom in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

Elon Musk Xinjiang showroom
  • Tesla opened a store in Xinjiang, a region in China accused of crimes against humanity.
  • The announcement came after President Biden’s bill was passed prohibiting imports from the Xinjiang region due to concerns surrounding forced labor.
  • The Tesla store offers both sales and delivery services.

Elon Musk’s Tesla company opened its first showroom in the capital of ​​China’s Xinjiang region despite allegations that it is a site of genocide targeting Uyghur populations.

While the electric vehicle company already has 27 stores in mainland China, Tesla announced its most highly criticized and latest store in the Ürümqi’s Uyghur Autonomous Region on Weibo on Dec. 31.

China is Forcing Thousands of Tibetans Into Labor Camps, Jamestown Foundation Says


China has subjected over half a million “rural surplus laborers” in Tibet to centralized, military-style vocational training in the first seven months of 2020, according to a new study from research institute The Jamestown Foundation.

The scheme, in line with President Xi Jinping’s goal of eradicating poverty, is geared toward the transfer of such laborers to other parts of the country to increase rural disposable incomes.

‘Mulan’ Sparks More Outrage for Thanking Chinese Groups Linked to Uyghur Detention Camps in Credits

Calls to boycott “Mulan” have grown louder this week as people discovered that Disney had filmed the live-action remake in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region, where over a million Uyghurs are believed to have been detained.

The discovery emerged in the film’s final credits, which thanked government entities such as the publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee and the public security bureau in Turpan (a prefecture-level city southeast of Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital).

Uyghur Model Allegedly Goes From Making $1,440 a Day to Being Chained to a Bed in Chinese ‘Reeducation Camp’

An Uyghur man managed to share a glimpse of his condition in one of China’s “reeducation camps” to the outside world, supporting countless alleged stories that point to the oppression, persecution and incarceration of his people.

Merdan Ghappar, 31, a native of Xinjiang, used to work as a model in the southern Chinese city of Foshan — a job that reportedly earned him up to 10,000 yuan (about $1,440) a day.

Xinjiang Police Chief Reportedly Detained for Worrying About Dying Uyghurs

A police chief in Xinjiang who expressed concerns over the mass detention and possible deaths of his fellow Uyghurs in internment camps reportedly ended up becoming a detainee himself.

Himit Qari, 45, who oversees the Ucha township in Kuchar county, Aksu prefecture, allegedly criticized policies that have rounded up some 1.5 million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities such as Kazakhs and Uzbeks since April 2017, while attending a party earlier this year.

China Bans 29 Muslim Baby Names for Being Too ‘Extreme’

China has banned dozens of “extreme” names for Islamic babies born in Xinjiang, its northwestern region populated by about half of the country’s 23 million Muslims.

The move comes as local authorities intensify their crackdown on “religious extremism” in the region. As per Radio Free Asia, an official confirmed that the Communist Party’s new “Naming Rules For Ethnic Minorities” bans monikers such as Islam, Quran, Mecca, Hajj, Imam, Jihad, Medina and Saddam.