Beyond cotton, another thread in Xinjiang supply chain creates new snag for global textile firmsMarch 28, 2021
Viscose is produced in huge volumes in Xinjiang, a region where Beijing is accused of putting 1 million Uygurs and other Muslim ethnic minority groups in detention camps and subjecting many of them to forced labour.
Chinese records show how the viscose supply chain in Xinjiang is intrinsically linked to entities already sanctioned by the United States for alleged ties to forced labour.
The factories used to make viscose fibre in Xinjiang are located within miles of suspected detention camps, according to satellite images seen by the South China Morning Post.
They were matched against open-source research compiled from official government documents, statistics and academic studies by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), a think tank that receives funding from the Australian and American governments.
Xinjiang produces between 10 and 18 per cent of the world’s viscose, according to various estimates.
Chinese corporate records show the region’s top viscose manufacturer is a state-owned company that built its factories in areas dominated by the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), the sprawling quasi-military organisation that was sanctioned by the US last year for human rights abuses.
The region’s viscose factories sit alongside huge industrial estates, just miles from suspected detention camps, which Beijing has described as job training centres. A third factory is jointly owned by the XPCC through a subsidiary. It recently modernised its equipment.