Amid ongoing tensions between Beijing and Washington, US President Joe Biden has signed a bill in the Senate banning the import of goods from Xinjiang province.
According to the international news agency Al Jazeera, after the signing of the bill on Thursday, the new law prohibits the importation of products produced by forcing members of the minority Muslim Uighur community to work as laborers.
According to Al Jazeera, the bill was passed by lawmakers in both houses of the US Congress earlier this month. China’s Xinjiang province is a major supplier of cotton and solar panels to the world market.
UN experts and human rights groups say more than a million people, mainly Uighurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in large camps in Xinjiang in recent years. The United States and many human rights groups have called China’s treatment of Uighurs genocide.
Last week, Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Rubio, the main sponsor of the bill, said “the Chinese Communist Party has created a terrible situation in Xinjiang.”
China, meanwhile, has denied the allegations. The Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters on Thursday.
Earlier, on July 9 this year, the US Department of Commerce blacklisted 10 Chinese companies for torturing, massacring, raping and violating human rights by detaining a large minority of Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province.