Tesla opens a new showroom in Xinjiang on December 31, 2021. The Biden administration strongly disapproves of Tesla’s connection with the region.
President Biden has signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention act banning imports from the Xinjiang region.
Why is Tesla being criticized for opening a new showroom in Xinjiang?
According to Human Rights Watch, the Xinjiang region detained approximately one million Uyghur Muslims. The Biden administration and other governments claim that Uyghur Muslims experience repressive treatments amounting to genocide and crimes against humanity.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “As we’ve said before, companies that fail to address forced labour in their supply chains and other human rights abuses face serious legal, reputational and customer risks, not just in the United States but in Europe and around the world. We’ve been clear about our views on the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang. We will continue to hold the PRC accountable.”
Concerning the repression and crimes against the Uyghur people, the Biden administration disapproves of Tesla opening a new showroom in Xinjiang.
Who are the Uyghur people in Xinjiang where Tesla opened a new showroom?
Recognized as a regional minority and the titular people of Xinjiang by the Chinese government, they are one of the fifty-five officially recognized ethnic minorities living in China.
Located in Washington, D.C., the Uyghur Human Rights Project is an advocacy organization. While some welcomed the move by Tesla to open a new showroom in Xinjiang in China, speculations arise that China is the cause of genocide and slavery against the Uyghur minority group.
The Xinjiang region where Tesla opened a showroom is rich in resources.
What are the concerns with Xinjiang, where Tesla opened a new showroom?
The BBC published an investigation in December 2020 based on research that shows China forced hundreds of thousands of minorities like Uyghurs into manual labour.
Various companies like microchip giant Intel, H&M, and Nike faced criticism when they expressed concern about the forced labour of Uyghur Muslim people in cotton production.
Tesla’s new showroom in Xinjiang is the topic of criticism across the globe. Nevertheless, Beijing denied the claims.
Tesla’s announcement on social media read, “Let’s start Xinjiang all-electric journey!” The venue of the new Tesla showroom is the region’s capital of Urumqi.
What is the United States’ response as Tesla opens a new showroom in Xinjiang?
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “The international community, including the public and private sectors, cannot look the other way when it comes to what is taking in Xinjiang.”
The U.S. enacts sanctions, other measures, and regulations against China over human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It also includes restrictions on U.S. business dealing among suppliers and local operators.
Ibrahim Hooper, the council’s director of national communications, said, “No American corporation should be doing business in a region that is the focal point of a campaign of genocide targeting a religious and ethnic minority.”
Tesla opens a new showroom in Xinjiang, despite receiving worldwide backlash. Nevertheless, Beijing denies all accusations and claims to be a part of anti-terrorism efforts and poverty eradicating programs.