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Slavery will never be history as long as we turn a blind eye to China: Noted columnist warns Xinjiang
Image credit : World Uyghur Congress Twitter page

Slavery will never be history as long as we turn a blind eye to China: Noted columnist warns

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 15 Dec 2020, 10:25 pm

A noted journalist feels that slavery will never be history as long as the world turns a blind eye to China.

Journalist  Nick Cohen wrote in his opinion published in The Guardian: "But it is not a victory for today’s slaves. Forced labour is an essential part of the Chinese state’s programme to humiliate and destroy ethnic minorities."

"The parallels with the antebellum south reach to the cotton fields. The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) runs prison factories and its own paramilitary force to keep its captives in line," he wrote.

" It helped create the Chinese cotton industry, which now supplies 20% of the world’s cotton market and, maybe, the clothes on your back. XPCC sends forced labour to pick cotton because no one has ever picked cotton unless poverty or slave masters forced them to. It’s hard to know what is worse: the backbreaking work or the exposure to pesticides," he wrote.

He  mentioned how China prevents journalists and diplomats reporting from Xinjiang except in the most tightly controlled circumstances.

"Like the Atlantic slave trade, forced labour in China can seem too convenient to challenge. It’s one thing to go on a Black Lives Matter demo, another to tear up your phone contract. China, like the old slave power in Britain and America, can seem so strong and so embedded in global patterns of consumption that taking it on feels a doomed enterprise," Cohen said.