Blinken warns countries to stay away from Xinjiang ‘forced labor’ goods

Berlin, Jun 23 (EFE).- United State’s secretary of state Antony Blinken on Wednesday warned countries not to benefit from alleged forced labor taking place in China’s Xinjiang province.

“I think what is incumbent upon all of us to do whatever we can to make sure that products that may be the result of forced labor are not coming into our countries and similarly we are not exporting to any countries, China or otherwise, technologies or products that can be used to repress people and deny them their human rights,” Blinken said.

During the G7 Leaders Summit in Cornwall earlier this month, leaders committed to removing forced labor products from the global supply chain after a statement by the United Nations named China’s region of Xinjiang as the main area of concern.

“We are not about containing China or holding China back. What we are about is upholding the free and open ruled-space international order that we have spent so many decades building,” Blinken added.

The secretary of state spoke at a joint press conference in Berlin with German foreign minister Heiko Maas, where they are participating in an international conference on peace building in Libya.

Blinken spoke about the close relationship between the US and Germany despite the countries’ disagreement on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

“We continue to believe that the pipeline is ultimately a Russian geopolitical project that threatens European energy security and potentially undermines the security of Ukraine and other countries in the region,” Blinken said.

“Our goal remains to ensure that Russia cannot use energy as a tool, a coercive weapon against Ukraine or anyone else in Europe,” he added.

Blinken is due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel to prepare for her visit to the US next month, where she will meet with US president Joe Biden.EFE


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