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Esclavitud china

Slavery for Solar Energy: The Hypocrisy of Chinese Environmentalism

China commits genocide and forced labor of members of religious minorities in the production of technologies and extraction of minerals and cotton

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Chinese solar energy panels originate in the Xinjiang region, where the Communist Party of China (CCP) has built concentration camps and subjects religious minorities to forced labor, genocide and other human rights violations.

Unlike the United States, which has already implemented sanctions against products such as cotton and tomatoes originating in Xinjiang, the European Commission has avoided confronting China with any trade measures in order to protect its climate change bet.

Xinjiang’s energy and minerals

“Beijing has been conducting a campaign to detain and re-educate” the Muslim-majority Uighur population of the Xinjiang region.

The Donald Trump administration along with human rights groups and CCP victims have warned that these state-run “re-education centers” function as forced labor camps.

People detained in concentration camps in China are forced to work in low-skilled, labor-intensive sectors, such as cotton picking or in coal mines. (Image: EFE)

Recent reports claim that the CCP in Xinjiang has focused on “upgrading” the labor force and putting them to work in specialized sectors. It is worth remembering that many of the well-known high-tech and sewing companies have ties with companies that involve forced labor, such as Apple, Adidas and Volkswagen.

However, the global solar industry and bitcoin have great support in Xinjiang. On the one hand, because of the production of polysilicon, a material used to manufacture photovoltaic (PV) cells, essential for the production of solar panels. On the other hand, Bloomberg published that the region has become famous for being a center for bitcoin mining.

”Nearly two-thirds of the world’s coal production and at least 95 percent of the silicon-based solar modules on the market come from Xinjiang in China.”

Paris Agreement, an advantage for China

The conditions of the signatory members of the Paris Agreement are not the same. China has an advantage by not relying on legislations from democratic values. Unlike the United States and Europe, the CCP uses forced labor and benefits from trade agreements with countries sanctioned by international organizations.

North Korea illegally trades oil and coal with the help of China. China is also Pyongyang’s main trading partner. (Image: Shutterstock)

The solar panel market is a great example of the CCP’s competitive advantage. Solar products made with forced labor enter the European Union (EU) market despite criticism from some lawmakers.

Under the Paris Agreement, the United States and Europe are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025. Prior to the treaty, the West already had a regulatory and corporate development for the management of polluting waste.

Under this agreement, the signatory countries adopt measures that benefit the use of renewable energies, but also seek to restrict the use of minerals such as coal or oil, with strong regulations and penalties for companies that fail to comply with the agreements.

However, China, the biggest polluter, since its energy industry emits 4,000 million tons of greenhouse gases per year, does not punish its companies with the same forcefulness and its policies continue to prioritize economic growth over climate change.

China initially launched its emissions trading market on a pilot basis in some areas of the country for the first time in 2013, but the press has reported that penalties for industry that fails to comply with environmental agreements are too low, reducing the effectiveness of the program to reduce emissions.
China boosts coal and oil extraction in exchange for credits

The CCP sources minerals from partner countries and has increased investment in their extraction. An example of this is that the CCP is promoting oil treaties in Angola, a country outside the Paris Agreement, which recently changed its internal legislation to be able to extract oil from areas protected for their environmental diversity.

China has also become the largest lending country in the world, granting credits that have been denounced by the United States for their abusive clauses that make them unpayable.

Eighty percent of Chinese loans to developing countries are backed by oil. Some countries have been forced to increase oil production in order to meet their debts to the CCP.

China initially launched its emissions trading market on a pilot basis in some areas of the country for the first time in 2013, but the press has reported that penalties for industry that fails to comply with environmental agreements are too low, reducing the effectiveness of the program to reduce emissions.

Rise in coal and oil extraction

The CCP sources minerals from partner countries and has increased investment in their extraction. An example of this is that the CCP is promoting oil treaties in Angola, a country outside the Paris Agreement, which recently changed its internal legislation to be able to extract oil from areas protected for their environmental diversity.

Oil refinery in Venezuela in 2020. Angola and Venezuela, for example, increased their barrel production in order to cover their debt with Beijing. (Image: EFE)

China has also become the largest lending country in the world, granting credits that have been denounced by the United States for their abusive clauses that make them unpayable.

80% of Chinese loans to developing countries are backed by oil. Some countries have been forced to increase oil production in order to meet their debts to the CCP.

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