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Thousands of Uyghurs Transferred to Nanjing From Xinjiang by Chinese Firm

Jonathan Walker
Jonathan loves talking politics, economics and philosophy. He carries unique perspectives on everything making him a rather odd mix of liberal-conservative with a streak of independent Austrian thought.
Published: November 14, 2021
One million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities, including ethnic Kazakhs, are believed to be held in re-education camps in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang.
One million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities, including ethnic Kazakhs, are believed to be held in re-education camps in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang. (Image: OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

The forced labor of Uyghurs from Xinjiang has been a hotly contested human rights issue.  Exiled Uyghurs have called on Western nations to take action while the communist Chinese regime constantly dismisses such claims as being false. Xinjiang is home to the minority Uyghur community who have been facing cultural genocide at the hands of the communist government. 

An investigation by Radio Free Asia (RFA) suggests that a Chinese job-placement company has transferred over 3,000 people from Xinjiang into factories across China in 2021. The transferred individuals include 16-year-old young girls. The company plans to shift thousands more in the early part of next year and had earlier advertised that over 2,000 Uyghurs would be available for work for two years.

When RFA contacted the company’s phone number, a woman confirmed that 3,000 workers from Kashgar, Xinjiang, were transferred to other parts of China. “They’re no longer available. They’ve already been placed,” the woman said.

These workers, of which one-third were women, were sent to Nanjing to work for monthly wages of $313. Some of these workers come from Beijing’s “re-education” camps that brainwash Uyghurs to pledge loyalty to the CCP. When the media outlet got in touch with Kashgar authorities, an official said that the transfer of Uyghur workers was a “state secret.”

Back in April, a report from Sky News had highlighted the mass transfer of Uyghur workers in communist China. The transfer is said to be facilitated by the “labor transfer program” run by the Xinjiang government. 

Such transfers depend on a network of private agents. “On Chinese websites, there are dozens of postings advertising Uyghur labor, in batches of 50 to 100 workers… Those adverts suggest tight political and social controls,” the report states.

When the outlet contacted a phone number from one such advert, an agent revealed that people from Xinjiang are “examined politically” prior to their transfer. When the transferred person arrives at a new place, the local administration will conduct another political examination.

All these workers remain under “half-military management” and are accompanied by “supervisors” who are paid in part by the Personnel Bureau of the Xinjiang government. In one factory that employed these Uyghurs, the workers lived in dormitories that were placed under CCTV watch. The front office also contained riot control gear.

In the United States, lawmakers have taken steps to tackle the issue of Uyghur slave labor. For instance, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act prohibits goods made from Xinjiang to enter America under the assumption that they are made with forced labor. However, some American companies have lobbied to prevent such measures from being passed.

In an interview with Fox News last month, Republican Senator Marco Rubio called out the hypocrisy of American companies that work with the Chinese regime which allows Uyghur slave labor.

“These are companies that are willing to do business and partner with a genocidal government in China, a government that’s actually putting Uyghur Muslims in work camps using slave labor that they’re up here lobbying now to kill our Uyghur or slave labor bill that’s stuck in the House… These companies, the hypocrisy is extraordinary, and they get away with it. They get away with it because most of the media won’t cover it for what it is,” Rubio said.

The senator specifically pointed to Nike and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for lobbying on behalf of communist China since “they’re making money” from the country.