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Senator Rex Patrick wants Australia to ban Chinese imports of Uyghur Muslims using forced labor

Australia plans to combat forced Muslim labor in China with import bans on goods made in ‘re-education camps’

  • South Australian Senator Rex Patrick wants to ban goods of forced labor
  • Former US President Donald Trump banned Chinese imports by Uyghurs
  • Communist China detains Uyghur Muslims, forces women to have abortions

Australia could join the United States in banning Chinese imports using forced Muslim labor, under pressure from a senator worried about new laws.

South Australian independent Rex Patrick has proposed legislation reflecting a US ban on the import of goods produced in Uighur internment camps in Xinjiang province.

The camps are part of Chinese ‘re-education measures’ to oppress the Muslim minority, with human rights organizations claiming that women have been sterilized and forced to undergo abortions to prevent their population from growing.

Donald Trump, in one of his last acts as the US president, banned the import of tomatoes and cotton produced in Xinjiang province due to forced labor.

Former Trump Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, used the term “ genocide ” to describe communist China’s ethnic cleansing policies designed to eliminate Muslim culture.

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Australia could join the United States to ban Chinese imports using forced Muslim labor if a senator has his way. In one of his latest acts as the former US president, Donald Trump banned tomatoes and cotton produced in Xinjiang province, where Uyghurs have been held in internment camps. Pictured are Uyghurs drying cotton in Xinjiang province

Australia could join the United States to ban Chinese imports using forced Muslim labor if a senator has his way. In one of his latest acts as the former US president, Donald Trump banned tomatoes and cotton produced in Xinjiang province, where Uyghurs have been held in internment camps. Pictured are Uyghurs drying cotton in Xinjiang province

The government of new president Joe Biden has indicated that it will impose sanctions on China, which claimed the camps were simply a form of ‘de-radicalization’ of Islamic extremists.

Senator Patrick has proposed laws that could further fuel the trade wars between Australia and China that had developed since the Morrison administration called for an independent investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 virus, which came from China.

“We have to get up,” Senator Patrick told Sky News.

“I propose that the Australian government ban the import of products whose supply chain uses forced labor in Uyghurs in Xinjiang or wider in Western China.”

Senator Patrick, an independent who previously sat with Center Alliance, praised Australian Secretary of State Marise Payne for speaking out about China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority, but said the matter deserved more than condemnation.

“Unfortunately, the Australian government has not done anything,” he said.

Former Trump Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, used the term `` genocide '' to describe communist China's ethnic cleansing policies designed to eliminate Muslim culture.

Former Trump Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, used the term `` genocide '' to describe communist China's ethnic cleansing policies designed to eliminate Muslim culture.

Former Trump Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, used the term “ genocide ” to describe communist China’s ethnic cleansing policies designed to eliminate Muslim culture.

“This bill gives us the opportunity to put rubber on the road and, together with our international colleagues, make it very loud and clear to China that what is happening there is unacceptable.”

He submitted his 2020 bill on the customs ban (ban on goods produced by Uyghur forced labor) in December, calling for an investigation into China’s use of Uyghur forced labor.

Senator Patrick’s proposal is to use Australian Border Force intelligence alongside documented evidence to determine which goods are at high risk of being manufactured using forced labor.

Customs would be charged with inspecting the goods.

“A wide variety of well-known companies use Uyghur slave labor and we need to make sure we send strong signals to them that it is not acceptable,” said Senator Patrick.

South Australian crossbench Senator Rex Patrick has proposed legislation banning Australia from importing goods made with forced Uyghur labor into western China

South Australian crossbench Senator Rex Patrick has proposed legislation banning Australia from importing goods made with forced Uyghur labor into western China

South Australian crossbench Senator Rex Patrick has proposed legislation banning Australia from importing goods made with forced Uyghur labor into western China

He quoted data from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute showing that about 80,000 Uyghurs, out of a million detained, had undergone forced labor, adding that Australia needed to work with the US and the UK to eradicate this practice.

Last year, China imposed 80 percent tariffs on Australian barley and import taxes of up to 212 percent on Australian wine.

Former Trade Minister Simon Birmingham filed a complaint against arbitrary barley tariffs with the World Trade Organization in December, but Australia has not retaliated with tariffs in kind, preferring to respect the terms of the 2015 China-Australia Free Trade Agreement .

Despite the trade war, exports from Australia to China surged 21 percent in December as Chinese bought even more iron ore to make steel as part of the Covid recovery.

Australian imports from China fell 7 percent last month as fewer cell phones were purchased, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for Trade in Goods showed.

Apple, Nike and Coca-Cola have reportedly tried to make changes to the US Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which is backed by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

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