China PV industry body slams US' forced labour prevention law

Solar system. Author: Oregon Department of Transportation. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

December 29 (Renewables Now) - The China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) on Tuesday criticised the US government for adopting a new law that prevents imports of goods made with forced labour in China’s Xinjiang region and urged the country to stop spreading harmful rumours.

Before Christmas, US President Joe Biden signed into law the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, a bipartisan bill that seeks to address long-standing reports of Uyghurs and people of other Turkic or Muslim minorities being held and forced to work in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The bill is prohibiting the importation of goods that are wholly or partially produced in Xinjiang, including solar photovoltaics (PV).

The CPIA said in a statement that it strongly opposes the new law, which, it believes, disregards the truth, violates international law and damages the overall interests of China.

The association stressed that the existence of forced labour in Xinjiang is a century-old lie fabricated by the US and other Western countries. It claims that PV producers in the region strictly follow the internationally accepted practices in their activities, while employment in Xinjiang is voluntary and takes into consideration workers’ own wishes. Photovoltaic companies sign labor contracts in accordance with the law and obtain corresponding remuneration, CPIA added.

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