US Mounts ‘Forced Labor’ Lies on Fishing Firm to Serve Strategy of Containing China Following Attack on Xinjiang Industries

By Ma Jingjing

May 29, 2021 06:47 PM

Fishermen work on an aquafarm at Changhai county in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, July 8, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

While the US' groundless allegations of "forced labor" in Xinjiang's industries including cotton, tomatoes and solar energy did not achieve its goals of containing China, the US is turning to another Chinese industry by imposing a new import ban on seafood from a Chinese fishing company.

Experts said that the US aims to further suppress China by imposing bans on a wider range of Chinese industries and enterprises, but the wrong calculations from the US scapegoating China for its own inadequacies and internal problems will only accelerate its decline.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Friday issued a withhold release order against Dalian Ocean Fishing Co, citing "the use of forced labor" in the company's fishing operations, according to a statement on the bureau's website.

Many workers on the vessels are Indonesians, Reuters reported, citing CBP officials.

The CBP said it will immediately detain tuna, swordfish and other products from the entity at US ports of entry. It's worth noting that it's the first time that the CBP banned an entire fleet of fishing vessels, as opposed to individual vessels targeted in the past.

Established in 2000, Dalian Ocean Fishing Co is a leading ultra-low temperature long-line premium tuna fishing company headquartered in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province. It operates a fleet of 33 ultra-low temperature long-line fishing vessels, according to an introduction on the website.

"The US' latest move indicates that it would impose bans on a wider range of Chinese industries apart from Xinjiang industries in a bid to further weaken and suppress China in the competition between the two," Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.

The US aims to draw a third party in to confront China over the issue of "forced labor" by claiming "abuses" against Indonesian workers, Li said, noting that this is in line with the Biden administration's consistent policy on China by drawing partners into strategic competition against China.

Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University, told the Global Times on Saturday that it's already widely known that the US' ulterior purpose is hindering China's national rejuvenation by seeking decoupling with China in technology and industrial chains, with issues like "forced labor" and privacy protection being major excuses.

"China's national rejuvenation is in line with market and globalization rules," Wang said. He said Washington's wrong actions of targeting China as a scapegoat for looming domestic social and economic contradictions will only allow the US to miss a golden opportunity to launch internal reforms, serving to speed up its decline.

The US has been confronting China with the excuse of "forced labor" for some time, which China has repeatedly denied with abundant evidence.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying reiterated at a regular press briefing on May 12 that the allegations of "forced labor" in Xinjiang are an outrageous lie, and those in the US and the West who hype the issue in order to harm Chinese companies and industries are following a malicious agenda to destabilize Xinjiang and contain China.

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