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In its rush to net-zero, the West is aligning itself with Chinese human rights abuses

November 23, 2021

By Paul Homewood


Wise words indeed from IDS:


As the dust settles on the merry-go-round of Cop26, it is becoming very clear that the Chinese Communist Party has emerged in an even stronger position than it was in before the conference. Those Western politicians who pushed for the most disruptive net-zero targets didn’t seem to realise that they were making the free world more reliant on high-carbon Chinese energy.

This cognitive dissonance from Western leaders extends to almost every element of the net-zero transition and, perhaps worst of all, aligns the free world with Chinese human rights abuses.

We have long known that the CCP forces masses of Uyghur Muslims into coercive labour transfer programmes in the Xinjiang region. In 2020 alone 2.6 million people from Uyghur and minority backgrounds were transferred to work placements, often hundreds even thousands of miles from their home towns in clear conditions of forced labour.

Yet Cop failed to discuss the fact that the same Xinjiang region accounts for approximately 45 per cent of the world’s solar grade polysilicon production — a primary material for 95 per cent of solar panels, which are now proliferating across Britain.

Earlier this year a report published by Sheffield Hallam University found that all four of Xinjiang’s major polysilicon manufacturers have participated in or used suppliers linked to China’s state-sponsored labour transfer programmes. A further 90 Chinese and international solar companies ran supply chains linked to similar programmes in Xinjiang.

These programmes cannot be separated from the widespread abuses taking place against the Uyghurs, which legal investigations have concluded present a credible case for genocide and crimes against humanity. But still, we rush to buy solar panels from Xinjiang, simply aiding and abetting these horrific abuses.

China now accounts for the vast majority of rare earth mining of “critical minerals” that are essential for the production of everything from electric car batteries to the computer chips required to run smart energy distribution. Many of these mines happen to be in areas where human conditions are appalling. Given that these critical minerals have become the oil of the 21st Century, should such conditions not concern us more?

China’s dominance here is a choke point in the supply chains on which net-zero depends. Unless democratic states are able to coordinate to find alternative means of production, the CCP will strengthen this key point of leverage. We need to change this situation urgently.

When our democratic allies, such as Australia, Japan and Lithuania, have called China out for their shocking behaviour on issues ranging from Covid to Uyghur genocide, China has hit back very hard. And now, as the CCP throws its weight around, threatening Taiwan, bullying their neighbours and using slave labour and repression at home, it is secure in the knowledge that the free world’s growing dependency on Chinese energy will weaken the West’s collective response.

If history teaches anything, it is that we must put a higher value on freedom, or we will find that the final cost to us all becomes too high.

  1. Hugh Sharman permalink
    November 23, 2021 9:54 am

    Agreed! Insane! Environmentally and socially destructive on a scale unequalled in humanity’s short history. It’s good to see that many Germans share our concerns!

    • Robert Christopher permalink
      November 23, 2021 10:55 am

      It’s one of the advantages of not having an overall plan for NET Zero, and a lack of knowledge of raw material production and transport and the industrial processes required for manufacturing the finished products.

  2. November 23, 2021 10:00 am

    Vote with your wallet. Do not buy “made in China”

    • NeilC permalink
      November 23, 2021 10:41 am

      That’s Amazon out then!

    • Gerry, England permalink
      November 23, 2021 1:16 pm

      You will end up with a fat wallet as it is impossible to avoid Chinese manufacture without foregoing on things. I replaced the carburettor on a Stihl with a Chinese made one from Amazon only to find that the original was Chinese made as well!!

    • HotScot permalink
      November 23, 2021 5:28 pm

      Where was the electronic device you tapped that comment out on made?

  3. magesox permalink
    November 23, 2021 10:10 am

    Easier said than done aand. We have entwined so many of our daily supply chains with China that it’ll be incredibly hard to disengage. As an example, I have recently contracted something the medical professionals call a “cold”. I was implored by all and sundry to get NHS lateral flow tests immediately. They arrived yesterday. Where are they made? You guessed it!

    • HotScot permalink
      November 23, 2021 5:31 pm

      If you don’t have a fever;
      If you can still smell;
      If you can still taste;
      If you don’t have a constant cough;

      Why did you waste your money?

  4. Sobaken permalink
    November 23, 2021 10:18 am

    If they really wanted, Western countries could produce all the required minerals and metals within their borders, there are available resources, and there is plenty of expertise and workforce for it too. The problem is that the same political groups that campaign for material-intensive technologies also oppose local mining. With the exception of several economies like Australia and Canada, mining is largely dead in the developed world. Which leads to dependence on imports from China and the global south.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      November 23, 2021 11:45 am

      When it comes to off-shoring because in-house manufacture is opposed by so many (so-called) Greens, I don’t mind being called a conspiracist: IMHO too many of the more vocal and extreme ‘Greens’ such as XR are being enabled and encouraged by the CCP.

      • HotScot permalink
        November 23, 2021 5:34 pm

        Soros funds most of them.

      • dennisambler permalink
        November 23, 2021 5:45 pm

        “‘Greens’ such as XR are being enabled and encouraged by the CCP.”

        And HMG…

  5. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    November 23, 2021 12:58 pm

    Thank you Paul for posting this important article. I SO wish that the idealistic virtual signalling ignorant extinction rebellion zealots would read this it.
    Why is it people do not do joined up thinking ? The lack of inquisitive minds in this death cult is frightening.
    Will it be left to Amnesty International to take a turn at gluing themselves to the road outside parliament ?
    In the end the usual egomaniac parties are at the bottom of this scandal, i.e. politicians in the West.

  6. November 23, 2021 4:28 pm

    Are these the same Uyghurs as thousands of their Muslim extremist compatriots bedded down with fellow Muslim ISIS /al Qaeda in N W Syria?
    I can’t see shedding too many crocodile tears for that bunch of Medieval religious fanatic head choppers.
    John Doran.

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