Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – The British government will impose a fine on companies that hide ties to China’s Xinjiang region where Uyghurs and other minorities are alleged to be subjected to forced labor, under a raft of new measures.
On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the new measures, which the Foreign Office says are designed to ensure that all UK organizations “are not complicit in or benefit from human rights violations in Xinjiang.”
The British government will also review British products that can be exported to Xinjiang, and will issue new guidelines that “identify the specific risks faced by companies with links to Xinjiang … and highlight effective due diligence challenges there”.
The US State Department estimates that up to 2 million Uyghurs, as well as members of other Muslim minorities, have been held in a sprawling network of internment camps in Xinjiang.
Beijing has long defended the crackdown in Xinjiang as necessary to counter extremism and terrorism, claiming that its facilities are voluntary “training centers” where people learn professional skills, Chinese language and laws.
“Evidence of the scale and severity of human rights violations being committed in Xinjiang against Uyghur Muslims is now far reaching,” Raab told members of parliament, adding that the new measures aim “to send a clear message that these human rights violations are unacceptable, and to protect companies and public bodies in the country.” United Kingdom from any participation or association with it. “
Raab also called on the UN to reach Xinjiang to verify allegations of forced labor and other human rights violations.
Washington has taken its own steps to limit imports from Xinjiang, as the Trump administration announced last month that it would ban cotton imports from there, the latest restriction related to the region.