lørdag 27. mars 2021

Chinese celebrities rush to defend Beijing's Xinjiang policy by cutting ties with international brands

Chinese celebrities are finding it increasingly difficult to stay out of politics. Due to China's tight restrictions on free speech, most of the country's stars have been outwardly apolitical by default. But as China embraces a new wave of apparent nationalism -- promoted by the ruling Communist Party and amplified by state media -- it seems staying silent is no longer a viable option.

Over the past two days, Chinese actors, singers and models have spoken up en masse to defend Beijing's policy on Xinjiang, as a nationalist-fueled backlash erupted against some international clothing brands for expressing concerns over allegations of forced labor, and refusing to use cotton produced in the western region.

Human rights groups have accused Beijing of detaining Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in internment camps across Xinjiang, and using them for forced labor, which they claim is part of global tech and retail supply chains, either directly or indirectly. Recent sanctions from the United States and other Western countries over Xinjiang have sparked a renewed pushback from the Chinese government, which calls the camps "vocational training centers" designed to combat terrorism and religious extremism. China has repeatedly and vehemently denied accusations of forced labor in the camps.