One of the world’s largest cotton producers is China; the Xinjiang province in western China is now the origin of 20% of the world’s raw cotton. Yet a recent report gives strong indication that labour transfer programs are being used to force Uyghurs into cotton harvesting.
The contradiction in both declaring the violence against Uyghur Muslims in China as genocide and then defending limited US involvement because of different “cultural norms” is a stark reminder of the Janus-faced developmental diplomacy that forefronts US interests and provides yet another convenient facade for non-interventionist policy.
If there is no meaningful action taken, China risks becoming another country on a list that remains too long to begin with. The costs of this failure will, most likely, be borne first and foremost by Uighur women.