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China uses Uyghur forced labour to make solar panels, says report

May 15, 2021

By Paul Homewood

h/t Philip Bratby


It’s hardly surprising Chinese solar panels are so cheap!



The global production of solar panels is using forced labour from China’s Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province, an investigation has found.

Xinjiang produces about 45% of the world’s supply of the key component, polysilicon, the research by the UK’s Sheffield Hallam University says.

It says the material is obtained under a massive system of coercion, a claim denied by the Chinese authorities.

The report urges top panel makers to source the component elsewhere.

Solar panels are in huge demand because of climate change.

Polysilicon is extracted from mined quartz, and the research says the world’s four biggest manufacturers use materials tainted by a massive system of coercion.

"The [Chinese] government claims that these programmes are in accordance with PRC [the People’s Republic of China] law and that workers are engaged voluntarily, in a concerted government-supported effort to alleviate poverty," the report says.

"However, significant evidence – largely drawn from government and corporate sources – reveals that labour transfers are deployed in the Uyghur Region within an environment of unprecedented coercion, undergirded by the constant threat of re-education and internment."

  • China is facing mounting criticism from around the world over its treatment of the mostly Muslim Uyghur population in the north-western Xinjiang autonomous region.
  • Human rights groups believe China has detained more than a million Uyghurs over the past few years in what the state defines as "re-education camps".

    There is evidence of Uyghurs being used as forced labour and of women being forcibly sterilised.

    The US is among several countries to have accused China of committing genocide and crimes against humanity through its repression of the Uyghurs.

    China denies such allegations, saying it has been combatting separatism and Islamist militancy in the region.



    1. Devoncamel permalink
      May 15, 2021 10:23 am

      None of this is in the least bit surprising. I would however take issue with the following;
      ‘Solar panels are in huge demand because of climate change.’
      It’s because of the unfounded fear of climate change, endlessly perpetuated by mainstream media, science and politics. China knows this and is cashing in financially and politically.

      • May 15, 2021 11:19 am


        • May 15, 2021 11:29 am

          Re: “Solar panels are in huge demand because of climate change.” ¨

          The BBC cannot help themselves. All news reporting is now a tool to be exploited and politicised for propaganda purposes. It is almost as if there is a political commissar “editing” all output, inserting a phrase here and there to promote the correct and official political orthodoxy.

        • May 15, 2021 11:51 am

          I haven’t listened to any programme on BBC Radio 4 lately that doesn’t get “climate change” in there somewhere.

    2. Peter Yarnall permalink
      May 15, 2021 11:19 am

      Do you think the likes of the International Left, Attenborough, Michael Mann, The BBC, Greta or XR give a toss about slave labour so long as capitalism is smashed?

      • May 15, 2021 11:24 am

        Not just capitalism but our whole way of life based on freedom and democracy. The sad little middle class bullies infesting organizations like XR are no different from those who signed up enthusiastically be part of Smerch or the NKVD 100 years ago. They see a simple destructive route to power and hang the consequences

    3. May 15, 2021 11:21 am

      Whilst I am cautious about these claims which are not so easy to verify, the simple fact that the West is buying solar panels from China at all should be a red flag ( pardon the pun).

      • Mack permalink
        May 15, 2021 3:46 pm

        Not to mention the 40,000+ veritable child slaves in the Congo digging cobalt out by hand for the world’s EV and phone production. Not a great look for the virtuous is it?

        • May 15, 2021 8:28 pm

          Mack, those “wretched” children are just happy they are dying in a good cause (XR clowns outfit, wrings hands and smiles ever so piously).

    4. May 15, 2021 11:25 am

      I am going to get the main findings of the report into the local media and make sure that all the local planning authorities are aware that we will be watching them if they condone the building of solar farms using solar panels made by Chines companies which employ forced labour in their supply chains.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        May 15, 2021 12:19 pm

        Good for you, Phillip!

    5. Gamecock permalink
      May 15, 2021 12:29 pm

      “You knew it was a snake when you picked it up.”

    6. Lorde Late permalink
      May 15, 2021 12:33 pm

      I haven’t been able to listen to R4 now for ages as al the reporting is so biased and even the plays are now so PC and full of unrealistic characters from every minority.

      • May 15, 2021 8:33 pm

        The plays have been excruciatingly unlistenable to for quite a while. It is such a shame. When I was a kid I remember listening to them and being taken to enchanted places. Now……ugh it is lessons 1-6975 in the re-education camp!

    7. David permalink
      May 15, 2021 8:34 pm

      And look at the bias against Israel in the current conflict!

    8. Gamecock permalink
      May 16, 2021 4:04 pm

      Careful! If the Chinese have no industry for them, will they just kill them?

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