- Civey poll: Majority wants VW plant in Xinjiang closed down
- G7 summit shows: It’s all about China
- Beijing wants to create chip champion
- Longer trading hours for the yuan
- Winding-up lawsuit against Evergrande
- Project on academic cooperation with China
- Philip Clart – a sinologist with a soft spot for religious movements
Detention in camps and forced labor are not as far off from German actors as they might think. After all, today’s globalized economy connects all parts of the world. Since the revelations of the Xinjiang Files at the latest, the issue has also arrived in Western societies.
Companies are also beginning to feel the pressure – for example, the German car manufacturer Volkswagen, which operates a plant in the Xinjiang region. That is why Table.Media wanted to find out what the German public thinks about the issue and our own behavior.
Marcel Grzanna presents the results of the survey conducted by the market research institute Civey: VW should shut down its plant in Xinjiang, says a majority of respondents. Entirely unrelated to this, a majority believes that the import of products made from forced labor should be banned, as is already the case in the United States. Corresponding political initiatives thus receive broad support.
The G7 leaders were demonstratively relaxed in Elmau, Bavaria: no ties, open jackets, arm in arm and constantly laughing. Felix Lee traveled to the summit and gained some fascinating looks behind the scenes for Table.Media: With all the pressing problems – from the Ukraine war, and sanctions against Russia to the Western infrastructure initiative “Global Gateway” – one thing became clear in the confidential discussions: In the end, it’s all about China. Lee shows what the G7 decided in Elmau, what goals they are pursuing, and also where the problems of their plans lie.
Majority wants clear line on Xinjiang
The issue of forced labor has moved closer to German consumers than at any time since the end of World War II. The overwhelming evidence that hundreds of thousands of people are forced to work in Chinese factories for ridiculously low pay or no pay at all sparks discussions about morals and responsibilities, and about the injustices in a globalized world. Most recently, the leak of the Xinjiang Police Files, which contain huge data sets on imprisoned Uyghurs, has created a new dynamic.
While international supply chains connect consumers with factories all over the world, they can easily escape the significance of the issue. Food, consumer goods and industrial materials nowadays consist of globally sourced components. The northwest Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang is internationally synonymous with the use of human labor at meager wages. In particular, sectors such as the textile industry, agriculture or the solar industry are considered risk sectors where the probability of forced labor being integrated into the value creation process is rapidly increasing.
Awareness of the problem in Germany has increased significantly because politicians and civil society regularly put the issue on the agenda. In the vast majority of cases, this happens in a critical context. Accordingly, the result of a survey conducted by the opinion research company Civey and commissioned by Table.Media seems to confirm the critical engagement with the issue.