- Can the solar industry free itself from Xinjiang goods?
- Peng Shuai denies previous statements
- Continental: Associations send complaints to Beijing and Berlin
- “Patriots” win Hong Kong election
- Blogger sentenced to billion-dollar fine
- Central bank cuts key interest rate
- Profile of arrested Uyghur Hayrigul Niyaz
Germany’s new government has only been in office for a few days – and several conflicts with China are already on the horizon. In the first case, German companies, such as the automotive supplier Continental, are caught between the fronts in what was a solely political dispute at first. This is why, at the beginning of the week, the Federation of German Industries warned Beijing of a “disastrous own goal“. The German Chamber of Commerce in China even addressed a letter to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. For the latest developments, please see our News section.
The second case is about the grand plans of the new German government: Expanding solar power – and simultaneously ensuring human rights in global supply chains. A difficult task. After all, there has long been no way past the global market leader China in the solar power sector. And, according to experts, the People’s Republic produces the raw material for solar panels in Xinjiang under forced labor. In such cases, discussions about sanctions quickly emerge. But they lead to a dead-end, as Nico Beckert analyses.
And even sport is not immune to political conflict. For the first time, Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has spoken about her allegations of sexual assault against a senior party official. Marcel Grzanna has taken a closer look at the interview. To him, the tennis player’s statements seem like pretend subterfuge. This makes Peng Shuai’s case seem like the latest part in the history of how the Chinese government deals with its dissidents, activists, and critics.
German solar plans could be thwarted by Xinjiang supply stop
The new federal government has a number of plans for the expansion of renewable powers. It wants to mount solar power on “all suitable roofs”. By 2030, “around 200 gigawatts” of photovoltaic capacity are to be achieved. This means a quadrupling of the current capacity. To achieve this, the traffic light coalition wants to remove many “hurdles to expansion”. This is what the coalition agreement says.
One major hurdle that is not mentioned, is the supply chain of the solar industry. A large part of the basic material of solar cells, polysilicon, is produced in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. However, there are accusations that this polysilicon is produced through forced labor by the Uyghur ethnic group. This poses considerable problems if ethical standards are to apply to this supply chain in the future.
Recently, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced a clearer policy against human rights violations in China. “If products from regions like Xinjiang, where forced labor is common practice, are blocked, that’s a big problem for an exporting country like China,” she said in an interview with taz and China.Table.
- Human Rights
- Supply chains
- Human Rights
- Supply chains
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