- Forced labor: EU Parliament calls for ban on suspected goods
- Turmoil over possible naval base in Cambodia
- Parts of Shanghai back in lockdown
- Xinjiang researchers criticize Bachelet
- Green light for EU rules on procurement
- Major floods in Hunan
- Ant IPO seems possible again
- Johnny Erling on Xi’s view of China’s vast ancient history
The USA is forcing the EU’s hand on the matter of forced labor. In the future, the Americans plan to have goods confiscated at the border if their clean origin cannot be definitively verified. Europe now fears that it will be the global dumping ground for products manufactured with forced labor. The ethically correct solution is to conduct own inspections. Amelie Richter describes what the European Parliament has decided in this regard.
However, a resolution alone will not make the situation any clearer. China rejects any accusation of forced labor in Xinjiang and, in turn, points to human trafficking in the USA and the EU. Moreover, supply chains are intricately intertwined, especially at their origins. Where did the cotton in this T-shirt come from, who supplied the silicon for this solar cell? Soon, companies and customs will have to deal with such complex questions. In the end, this could perhaps provide an impetus for shifting procurement back to the EU’s domestic market.
Conflicts also continue over the use of the oceans. China deems the South China Sea to be its territorial waters. The People’s Liberation Army’s South Sea Fleet continues to expand rapidly and now has a permanently designated aircraft carrier, the Shandong. Therefore, gaining access to the Ream naval base in Cambodia would be a major breakthrough for China’s hegemonic strategy, Michael Radunski reports. So far, China denies any plans to station ships here on a large scale. But the Chinese-funded expansion is already enough to raise the stress level of geostrategists in Washington, Tokyo, and even Berlin.
China also grounds its claim to supremacy on the historical superiority of its own civilization. So Johnny Erling takes a look at Xi Jinping’s very own view on history in today’s column. While people in Shanghai are stuck in lockdown at home, trade numbers are plummeting and no way out of the Covid crisis can be found, the Politburo is exploring the question: How old is China’s civilization? The Party’s commissioned scientists give the only valid answer: Even older than previously expected, namely 5,000 years. Because the more years, the more legitimacy.
EU Parliament urges Commission to ban forced labor
According to EU figures, around 25 million people worldwide work in conditions that could be classified as forced labor. In countries such as China, these modern-day slaves pick cotton for clothing, harvest fruit and vegetables, or assemble electrical components. These goods then end up in the hands of European consumers. This is set to change. The European Parliament puts pressure on the executive EU Commission: In the fall, a long-requested draft law for an import and export ban on products from forced labor is to finally see the light of day in Brussels’ bureaucracy.
EU MEPs presented their legislative recommendations on Thursday. They demand that the import of products from forced labor and child labor should already be stopped at the EU borders. The definition of forced labor shall be set according to the guidelines of the International Labor Organization (ILO). Products will then be sorted out using several criteria:
- production site,
- companies involved,
- logistics companies
- or even an entire region of origin, for example, Xinjiang.
According to the recommendation of the EU Parliament