Lawmakers ask IOC to prove Chinese companies making uniforms are not using forced labor

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a bipartisan group of parliamentarians sent a letter On Wednesday, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach asked him to justify the IOC’s ties with two Chinese companies using cotton produced in Xinjiang.

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Why this matters: The letter from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) said that “there is a worrying possibility that IOC personnel or others participating in the 2022 Olympic Games may have worn clothing contaminated with forced labor.”

of comment: Congress recently passed and President Biden signed a bill banning all imports from the Chinese territory of Xinjiang unless there is clear evidence that they were not made with forced labor.

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big picture: The Chinese government has been accused of committing genocide against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

  • The letter said that the cap Xinjiang cotton “is synonymous with forced labor and the systematic repression that took place there.”
  • On the letter CECC President Sen. Jeff Merkle (D-OR) and Co-Chair Representative James P. McGovern (D-MA), as well as ranking member Christopher Smith (R-NJ).

state of play: The letter said sportswear company Anta Sports and clothing company Hengyuanxiang Group (HYX Group) both continue to use cotton produced in Xinjiang.

  • The letter cited reports by Nerdshala’ Bethany Allen-Abrahimian and Shawna Chen that the IOC had contracted HYX Group to supply uniforms for IOC members and staff during the Games, and that HYX called the IOC “original”. certificate”, which stated that the cotton used came from outside China.
  • Now, lawmakers have asked the IOC to make public the “certificate of origin” given to them by the HYX Group.
  • He also asked the IOC to “explain the assurances” he received from Anta Sports that their products were not made by forced labour, and to explain why the IOC found those assurances to be credible.
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